England consolidated their position by taking a handy 85-run lead as they reached 237 for six before heavy rain washed away nearly two sessions of play on the second day of the fourth cricket Test against India, in Manchester on Friday.
Resuming at overnight 113 for three, England lost three wickets in the pre-lunch session as India removed removed Ian Bell (58), Chris Jordan (13) and Moeen Ali (13). A 67-run partnership for the seventh wicket between Joe Root (48) and Jos Buttler (22) dashed India's hopes of anymore breakthroughs.
Only nine overs were possible after lunch which meant that only 36 overs were bowled on day two as wet outfield in a small area around square prevented further action. The rain did stop around the scheduled tea-time but the outfield had been rendered completely wet and big puddles formed at various spots on the square as well as the boundary ropes which meant that the ground-staff were unable to get play started again.
This was after Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3-47) picked up two quick wickets in the morning session to peg England back, restricting the hosts to 201 for six at lunch. Varun Aaron (3-48) also added another to the two wickets he picked up last evening.
The second morning began with grey clouds still looming large over the ground, but they seemed lighter than the ones on day one that had helped English bowlers wreak havoc on the Indian top-order.
The Indian bowlers needed to make use of whatever conditions were available to them though, and take as many quick wickets as possible. That plan seemed a bit flustered at the start as 21 runs came off the first four overs itself, with Ian Bell (58) and Chris Jordan (13) setting a hectic pace. Bell, starting at his overnight score of 45, reached his half-century in the second over of the day off 63 balls. Soon after, Kumar got rid of Jordan, caught by Aaron at midwicket off a short ball.
Two overs later, India had wicket of Bell as Kumar set him up with two beautiful outswingers, the second getting a faint edge as the batsman played at it.