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England v India: Hosts build lead of 85 before rain intervenes

Last Updated: 09/08/14 10:56am

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Joe Root: Pushed England's lead up towards three figures before rain arrived

Joe Root: Pushed England's lead up towards three figures before rain arrived

Sky Bet

England built a solid lead of 85 in the fourth Test against India before rain and a slow-drying outfield brought a premature end to the second day's play.

Responding to India's 152, the hosts reached 237-6 in their first innings at Emirates Old Trafford by the time bad weather forced the players off the field during the afternoon session.

Even though the rain stopped falling with plenty of time left, drying the outfield proved problematic and play was abandoned for the day at 5.40pm.

Joe Root was unbeaten on 48 at the interruption alongside Jos Buttler - who, playing on his new home ground in Manchester, was 22 not out - as the pair put on an unbroken stand of 67 for the seventh wicket.

The stand was just what England required after India had checked their progress somewhat by picking up three wickets before the lunch break.

Crucially they dismissed Ian Bell for 58 just as the Warwickshire batsman looked well set to follow up his century at the Ageas Bowl in the last Test with another big score.

Well caught

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Having resumed on 113-3 England added a further 23 runs before Chris Jordan became the first man to fall, the Sussex paceman well caught by Varun Aaron after being tempted into a pull stroke by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The nightwatchman had impressively got off the mark playing the same shot when tested out by Pankaj Singh earlier on, but perished for 13 when he could only find the fielder at mid-wicket.

Bell moved on to his 42nd Test half-century from just 63 balls and looked in little trouble until pushing at an out-swinger from Kumar to provide wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni with an easy catch behind the stumps.

Moeen Ali was the other batsman to depart in the opening session on Friday, the left-hander bowled by Aaron for 13 having seemingly been beaten for pace from around the wicket.

However by then England had already moved just ahead and the partnership of Root and Buttler was extending their advantage ahead of the second new ball becoming available.

But their progress was halted when a heavy shower passed over the ground at 2.15pm, forcing play to be suspended.

The skies eventually cleared and the vast majority of the outfield dried out, but a large amount of standing water was left down by the boundary which, despite the best efforts of the groundstaff, could not be cleared and led to play being called off.

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