England v Australia, 3rd Test, Edgbaston, 3rd day August 1, 2009

Rain washes out third day's play

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England 116 for 2 (Strauss 64*, Bell 26*) trail Australia 263 (Watson 62, Onions 4-58, Anderson 5-80) by 147 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Despite the valiant efforts of the head groundsman Steve Rouse and his staff, rain forced the abandonment of the third day's play at Edgbaston. Umpires Rudi Koertzen and Aleem Dar conducted a series of field inspections throughout the day, but persistent afternoon rain prompted play to be officially cancelled at 2.40pm. Having lost five sessions of play across the first three days, and with more rain forecast for Monday, the chances of a result in the third Test are remote. Sunny periods are, however, predicted for Sunday.

Should the heavens clear long enough to allow the outfield to dry, England will resume on 116 for two, still trailing Australia's first innings total by 147 runs. Andrew Strauss (64 not out) and Ian Bell (26 not out) denied the Australians access to the England middle-order on Saturday with a 56-run partnership.

As the few hardy spectators left Edgbaston after braving the conditions for over three hours, the puddles widened and deepened under depressingly leaden skies. The groundsmen have barely stopped since Thursday, and have more hard work ahead of them if play is to resume on schedule tomorrow.

Click here for the second day's bulletin

Alex Brown is deputy editor of Cricinfo