England v West Indies
Scorecard and ball-by-ball commentary
With England already 2-0 up in the series, the final Test today at Chester-le-Street was all but meaningless, but West Indies' dogged display in the third Test at Old Trafford at last injected some life into a mismatch of a series. Michael Vaughan spoke of his desire to grind West Indies into the dirt and, after his side's impressive performance last week, there is no reason to doubt the captain's vision.
Unfortunately for all, the dirt at Chester-le-Street this morning was more a quagmire. The heavy and prolonged overnight rain didn't ease and, with reports of Yorkshire's Championship match at Headingley being called off as early as 11.00am, there was little hope of The Riverside escaping the deluge some 90 miles to the north. At 12.30pm, under gloomily granite skies, play was abandoned for the day. Scant consolation, but at least the hardy spectators will receive a full refund on their tickets.
Though a fifth of the Test has now been lost to rain, and though England have already taken the series, West Indies have much to play for. In what has been a mismatch of a series, West Indies fought commendably hard at Old Trafford, led by Shivnarine Chanderpaul's remarkably dogged 116.
The scorecard might suggest his knock merely delayed the inevitable for England - and given the threat Monty Panesar posed on such a dusty and bouncy track, it is a fair statement. But nevertheless, West Indies came within 60 runs of creating history, showing the sort of determination and passion that was so lacking in the first two Tests.
The weather is expected to improve over the next couple of days, though the rain will never be too far away. But in such green and pleasant conditions, England may only need three days to wrap up the series 3-0.