July 1, 2000

Weather reins in England's aspirations

Staff and agencies

For the moment England had to take a rain-check - literally - on their push for an historic victory at Lord's.

Calypso single
A calypso singer entertains the crowd at wet Lord's
Photo © CricInfo

Cornhill Insurance

Green tarpaulins and coloured umbrella set the early morning tone, and umpires Hampshire and Venkat decided to inspect the wicket at 11.30 a.m. Calculators as well as tactics came into play. England had to score 188 runs to level the account: West Indies needed to take 10 wickets to move two games ahead.

It is expected that Nick Knight will bat in spite of injuring his hand while attempting to catch Jacobs last night. If the poor weather moved away - as was forecast - there was every prospect of yet another finish in three days.

England will be encouraged by memories of what happened to them against New Zealand at Edgbaston a year ago as they won that game from a somewhat similar position. This time, though, there is no Alex Tudor to hit a matchwinning 99 not out from his position as nightwatchman.With batsmen generally vulnerable here at Lord's, the target is certainly stiff. Nevertheless the home team will have been buoyed up by Andrew Caddick's performance yesterday and their opponents' vulnerability.

The umpires said that play could start at 11.50 a.m. and the capacity crowd settled down for an intriguing contest between England's batsmen and Walsh and Ambrose - food for the gods indeed.