Rain prevented any play on the third day of the 2nd Test between England and West Indies in Manchester on Saturday. England, trailing 1-0 in the three-match series, now only have two days left to try and force a victory and stand a chance of winning back the Wisden Trophy.
“It’s not ideal. It’s looking like we’ll have to take 19 wickets in two days,” England all-rounder Ben Stokes told Sky Sports after Day was called off.
“But the wicket has offered something throughout the whole test so far, so we just need to make sure we can expose that. We know that once we get on a roll, anything is possible with the bowling attack we have,” he said.
For the West Indies, a washed out day might have just have been what they needed at this juncture. Set to defend the Wisden Trophy even if they draw this match, as they had won at home last year, the visitors need to reach a score of 270 to ensure that they are not told to follow on.
West Indies will resume on Day 4 on Sunday morning at 32-1, mounting a reply to England’s first innings 469-9 declared, with Kraigg Brathwaite 6 not out and nightwatchman Alzarri Joseph unbeaten on 14.
A wet morning in Manchester ☔️
Start of Day 3 delayed but 🤞 for play later.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 18, 2020
The extra day also gives West Indies pace bowlers a chance to recharge. Having bowled over two days in the first innings, Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph in particular were seen going off the field for long injury time-outs. Gabriel also looked stiff while fielding.
While England have the luxury of going to James Anderson and Jofra Archer for the 3rd Test, which will begin within four days of the 2nd Test, West Indies might find their pace resources stretched.
Happily for England, better weather is forecast for the last two days of the 2nd Test.
West Indies won the first test in Southampton by four wickets.
The third and final match is also in Manchester.