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Page last updated at 16:42 GMT, Saturday, 17 May 2008 17:42 UK

England frustrated at wet Lord's

First Test, Lord's (day three, close):
New Zealand 277 v England 89-0

By Oliver Brett

Alastair Cook
Cook reached his half-century but very little else happened

Almost constant drizzle on day three of the Lord's Test left England frustrated as they were denied the chance to gain a stranglehold over New Zealand.

Play was confined to a 40-minute spell in the morning session, as England reached 89-0 with more composed batting from Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss.

They were replying to New Zealand's 277 and will struggle to force a result now with only two days remaining.

Cook just had time to record his second first-class half-century of the season.

But with less than 10 overs bowled, 8.5 to be precise, all ticket-holders are entitled to a full refund from the MCC - costing Lord's 1.1m.

Play began only 25 minutes late, and the packed crowd were hopeful that there would only be minimal further interruption from the weather.

With so much play already lost over the first two days, Cook and Strauss needed to build a solid platform with the hope that England would only need to bat once in the match.

Chris Martin and Kyle Mills barely troubled the two left-handers, and the best shot was Cook's back-foot force through the covers off Mills.

It's been frustrating that we didn't have a chance to build on things today

Coach Peter Moores

The ball raced to the fence to bring up the Essex man's half-century off 79 balls, and he was unbeaten on 53 at stumps.

Strauss, who hit one clever flicked boundary off Martin for four, was on 31.

The biggest crowd-pleaser in the England dressing-room, Kevin Pietersen, was unable to display his talents on the day he was hotly tipped to sign a three-year deal to join the Indian Premier League.

According to the Daily Mail, he has been offered more than 2m to play for one of the eight IPL teams from next year.

England have the consolation of a dry forecast for Sunday and Monday and the playing condition that will allow for time to be added on at the end of each day.

Coach Peter Moores said: "It's been frustrating that we didn't have a chance to build on things today.

"The way Strauss and Cook have played has been good, they've shown good intent in their running between the wickets and picked off the bad ball when they have had an opportunity."


see also
First Test day three photos
17 May 08 |  England
England in New Zealand 2008
03 Jul 07 |  Cricket


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