Rain pushes England in sight of series victory

West Indies 275-6 v England No play yesterday Third Test, second day

England's cricketers will have had mixed feelings as they watched the rain fall heavily here yesterday. Very few players object to a day in the dressing room with their feet up, especially if it increases their chances of a £180,000 bonus.

Michael Vaughan's side share this sum each time they win a Test series of three matches or more, and the abandonment of the second day's play in the third Test can only have increased their chances of leaving Manchester with another bumper payment due. England are 2-0 up in this four-Test series and a draw here would be enough to see them home.

The 17,500 spectators who purchased tickets for yesterday's play will not find themselves contributing to England's ever-growing kitty. Each is entitled to a full refund and the insurers used by the England and Wales Cricket Boards will find themselves handing out another £380,000 to frustrated cricket fans.

The Manchester weather is often the brunt of cheap jokes, but this is the first occasion since 1992 that a full day's play has been washed out at Old Trafford. This will be of small comfort to the ECB's insurers though, who have now had to pay out on three occasions this summer.

This ground was the venue for England's abandoned NatWest series match against New Zealand in June, and the Kiwi's were also involved in a match against the West Indies in Southampton which was called off without a ball being bowled.

There is still enough time left in this match for a positive result to be achieved. Three hours of play will be made up during the remaining three days and Test cricket is now played at a rate where teams regularly score 400 runs in a day.

If there is to be a winner, though, England are favourites. The West Indies may have 275 runs on the board but it is difficult to see Brian Lara's bowling attack dismissing Vaughan's side twice in such a short period of time.

But should England take the four remaining West Indian wickets quickly this morning, there are still enough overs left in the game for them to score 450 and put the touring side under pressure.

There is also a negative side to this washout for England. Under Vaughan's captaincy, England have won each of the five Test matches they have played this summer and a win here would give them the chance of becoming the first England team since 1959 to win every game in a home series. That summer, Peter May and Colin Cowdrey led England to 5-0 thrashing of India.

A draw or a loss here would also bring an end to England's best run of victories since the summers of 1957 and 1958. Between July 1957 and July 1958, England, under the captaincy of May, won six Test matches in a row against the West Indies and New Zealand.

And the sixth and final victory of this sequence happened to come at Old Trafford, when England beat New Zealand by an innings and 13 runs. In that match, Ted Dexter and Raymond Illingworth made their Test debuts for England.

Dexter, who was still a student at Cambridge University at the time, scored a classy 52 and Illingworth took three wickets. The game was dominated by an excellent century from May and the bowling of Tony Lock, who took 7 for 35 in New Zealand's second innings.

Tom Graveney, Godfrey Evans, Fred Trueman and Brian Statham also played in a strong England side, but the weakness of the opposition and the one-sided nature of the matches - England would have won 5-0 against the Kiwi's had rain not washed out two days play in the fifth Test at The Oval - failed to prepare them for their winter tour of Australia.

Trevor Bailey, Jim Laker and Colin Cowdrey, who had been rested once the series against New Zealand had been won, joined this group, but they were thumped 4-0 by Richie Benaud's Australia side.

Vaughan's team still have a long way to go before they threaten the record run of successive victories in Test cricket. This was achieved by Steve Waugh's all conquering Australian side who won 16 consecutive Test matches during an 18-month period between October 1999 and March 2001.

* Paul Collingwood could miss September's Champions Trophy after injuring his right knee. The middle-order batsman damaged the joint whilst playing for Durham and has been advised by medics to rest for two weeks. Collingwood, who has played in England's past 14 one-day internationals, made his international debut three years ago.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week