Rain frustrates England

Groundsman Mick Hunt (left) discusses the conditions with umpire Billy Doctrove.
Groundsman Mick Hunt (left) discusses the conditions with umpire Billy Doctrove.
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RAIN delayed the start of play on day four of the second npower Test between England and Sri Lanka at Lord's.

The full covers were still in use at the scheduled start time of 11am, after overnight rain, however an improving forecast offered hope of plenty of cricket.

But because the teams were also kept off the field by bad weather for almost two full sessions yesterday, the prospect of a draw loomed large.

The rain began to relent - and although the covers remained in place, an 11.30am inspection was announced.

After the 11.30am inspection, a second was planned for 12.10pm.

Lunch was set to be brought forward to 12.30pm - with play starting at 1.10pm and a scheduled 83 overs remaining, with tea at 4.10pm and close at 7pm - with provision to go on to 7.30pm if necessary.

Ahead of today’s play, Sri Lanka had reached 372 for three, in their first-innings reply to England's 486 - and with under two days' play remaining, it was increasingly hard to see either team forcing a result.

England currently lead the three-match npower series 1-0.