India added another 92 runs for the loss of five wickets in the 25 overs that were possible on day two of the second Test before play was abandoned for the day. When rain sent the players off shortly after the tea interval, India were 302 for eight and had just lost their captain, Sourav Ganguly, for 68.
Ganguly appeared less than enamoured when he was adjudged caught behind off Matthew Hoggard as he tried to hook. Replays were inconclusive; the ball certainly brushed his arm on the way through to Alec Stewart, but whether there was contact with his glove was harder to tell.
Ganguly had been India's mainstay since the delayed resumption. They lost VVS Laxman in the sixth over of the day, edging Andrew Flintoff firm-footed to give Robert Key his second catch of the innings at first slip. Laxman had made 22 and was replaced by India's centurion at Lord's, Agit Agarkar, with the score on 218 for five. But Ganguly immediately looked in good touch, with a brace of off-side boundaries in Matthew Hoggard's fourth over. He did the same off Craig White to reach his fifty (99 balls, eight fours).
Agarkar was given a thorough examination by Flintoff, and was fortunate to survive when Darren Maddy, who was fielding as substitute for Dominic Cork, got the tips of his fingers to an an edge at gully. Cork is resting a bruised right knee after attempting a run out in the final session yesterday. No decision has yet been taken on whether he will bowl again in the match.
Agarkar had contributed a lively 34 to a partnership of 67 with Ganguly when he became Steve Harmison's first Test wicket. A flashing upper cut over the slip cordon was beautifully caught by Mark Butcher, running round from third man. After waiting nearly 18 overs for his first scalp Harmison wasted no time in collecting another, as the 17-year-old wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel failed to trouble the scorers in his first Test innings, edging a rising ball to Flintoff at second slip.
Tea was taken immediately, and despite a flurry of boundaries from Harbhajan Singh straight afterwards, Ganguly's dismissal gave England high hopes of rapidly polishing off the innings on the resumption tomorrow.