England v India: Rain ends day two in fourth Test at Old Trafford

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport at Old Trafford
Rain on the outfield at Old Trafford
One corner of the Old Trafford outfield proved to be particularly difficult to mop up
Fourth Test, Emirates Old Trafford (day two):
England 237-6 v India 152
Match scorecard

An unbroken partnership of 67 between Joe Root and Jos Buttler helped England build a healthy lead over India before rain curtailed the second day of the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

England appeared to be wobbling when they lost three wickets in the space of an hour - including Ian Bell for 58 - to fall to 170-6 in reply to India's 152.

But Root's unbeaten 48 and Buttler's 22 not out helped them to 237-6, an 85-run lead, before heavy rain stopped play at 14:15 BST.

After a torrential downpour, the weather improved and most of the surface water was cleared, but the umpires ruled that a particularly damp corner of the oufield remained unsafe for play, prompting an official abandonment at 17:39 BST.

With better weather forecast for Saturday, England will be hoping to increase their advantage before repeating their first-innings dominance over India's batsmen.

Ian Bell's Test record at Old Trafford
59 & 65 v Australia (2005)Matches: 7
106* v Pakistan (2006)Innings: 11
97 & 2 v West Indies (2007)Runs: 608
8 & 21* v New Zealand (2008)Highest score: 128
128 v Bangladesh (2010)Average: 76.00
60 & 4* v Australia (2013)Hundreds: 2
58 v India (2014)Fifties: 7

A victory would put Alastair Cook's men 2-1 up in the series going into next week's final Test at The Oval.

A riveting morning session saw both sides jostling for position in the knowledge that every run could be crucial in a low-scoring match.

England, resuming on 113-3, lost nightwatchman Chris Jordan after half an hour when he swatted a Kumar bouncer to mid-wicket for 13.

And when Bell nicked an away-swinger from the same bowler to Mahendra Dhoni, England were five wickets down and still 12 runs adrift of the tourists.

India then set about probing Moeen Ali's weakness against the short ball to the batsman's obvious discomfort.

One ball after being hit on the gloves by a Varun Aaron bumper, Moeen was caught out by a fast, full ball and bowled for 13.

Top wicket-takers in the series
19 - James Anderson (England)15 - Moeen Ali (England)
18 - Bhuvneshwar Kumar (India)10 - Ishant Sharma (India)
16 - Stuart Broad (England)8 - Ravindra Jadeja (India)

Buttler, whose swashbuckling 85 on his Test debut in Southampton helped swell an already huge England total, reacted well to a more challenging situation as he played himself in under overcast skies.

He worked the gaps for ones and twos and took 28 balls to hit his first boundary, a powerful drive wide of mid-off from the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin.

Root displayed the timing you would expect from a player with previous unbeaten scores of 200 and 154 this summer, striking five fours to move within two of his half-century.

He took a particular liking to the luckless seamer Pankaj Singh, who has conceded 258 runs in the series and is still searching for his first Test wicket.

BBC weather forecast for Old Trafford

England's Chris Jordan holes out
Nightwatchman Chris Jordan holed out for 13 when he was caught at deep mid-wicket
England's Ian Bell walks off
Ian Bell worked his way to his 42nd Test fifty, but fell to Bhuvneshwar Kumar
India's Pankaj Singh
The luckless Pankaj Singh toiled again, still looking for his first Test wicket
England's Jos Buttler and Joe Root walk off
Buttler and Root's partnership was halted by rain after they had added 67 in 18.4 overs

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