Anticlimax as third test drawn

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The Independent Online

Rain forced an inevitable draw in the crucial third cricket test between England and the West Indies after the home side was set to make 293 runs on the fifth and final day at Old Trafford on Monday.

Rain forced an inevitable draw in the crucial third cricket test between England and the West Indies after the home side was set to make 293 runs on the fifth and final day at Old Trafford on Monday.

England was 80 for one when bad light finally halted a frustrating day's play with 30 overs still remaining.

The five match series remains at 1-1 after West Indies won the first test at Edgbaston by an innings and England the second at Lord's by two wickets.

England lost the wicket of Michael Atherton between rain breaks when the veteran fast bowler had the former England captain caught behind for a 28 runs.

Atherton, playing his 100th test and having managed just one in the first innings, scored 28 runs in 83 minutes before nibbling at a Walsh delivery and being caught by wicketkeeper Ridley Jacobs.

His dismissal ended the 61-run opening stand with opener Marcus Trescothick.

Trescothick continued with his impressive debut and was unbeaten on 38 hitting six boundaries. This was after he had hit a fine 66 in England's first innings 303 and shared an innings building 179-run stand with man-of-the-match Alec Stewart (105) to lift the side from 17 for three.

Skipper Nasser Hussain struggling for form, survived a catch off Walsh to remain unbeaten on six when the two umpires Peter Willey and Doug Cowie finally called off the game.

The visitors batted for over an hour on the final morning before declaring their second innings on 438 for seven after having resumed the day on 381 for six. After the West Indies was routed for 157 in the first innings, England collapsed from a well placed 196 for three to 303 all out.

A brilliant 112 runs by Brian Lara changed West Indies' fortunes in the test after it had trailed England by 146 runs in the first innings.

Lara's century, the first by the West Indies in the series, provided the backbone of the visitors' second innings although there were half centuries to openers Sherwin Campbell and Adrian Griffith and skipper Jimmy Adams.

After dismissing Franklyn Rose (10) off the 16th ball of the day, England was frustrated by the left-handed eighth wicket combination of Ridley Jacobs and Ambrose, who extended the lead by 54 runs off just 87 balls.

Ambrose, dominated the stand with a 45-ball 36 runs while Jacobs, who had helped Adams add 38 runs on the fourth evening, hit an unbeaten 46 with the help of four boundaries in a little over two hours.

Ambrose hit off spinner Robert Croft for a towering six over long off in addition to another boundary.

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