Second Test: Rain delays England's charge at Headingley against New Zealand

Hosts may be denied a 2-0 scoreline by weather

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The Independent Online

England's bid to wrap up a 2-0 Investec series win over New Zealand was delayed by rain on the fifth morning at Headingley.

As forecast, early showers rendered the planned 11am start time impossible - frustrating the hosts in their attempt to take the last four wickets they need for victory.

New Zealand, at 158 for six and still 310 runs away from victory, will be more than content to stay in the pavilion.

If weather does intervene, England will face criticism for the conservative approach to winning this game.

They first declined to enforce the follow-on and then batted on for a long period of time in their second innings to set an implausible winning target of 468.

Even with that many runs in the bank, captain Alastair Cook surprised some observers by his lack of close catchers yesterday evening.

Umpires Marais Erasmus and Steve Davis decided to delay the start after completing their initial inspection at 10.30am, but there was still some action in the middle.

England's team director Andy Flower was seen in animated conversation with the Yorkshire ground staff, while his New Zealand counterpart Mike Hesson was involved in a long debate with the umpires.