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Rain spoils England’s game plan

Manchester, England - England's hopes of taking the initiative in the fourth test against India were washed out by the rain as a torrential downpour after lunch left the outfield unplayable during the second day on Friday.

After bowling India out for a lowly 152 in the first innings, England hoped to build a healthy advantage but a lengthy rain delay meant play was abandoned with the hosts 85 runs ahead on 237 for six.

Joe Root of England bats during day two of 4th Investec Test match between England and India at Old Trafford in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images). Credit: Getty Images

Unbeaten Joe Root (48) and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler (22 not out) will resume day three looking to build on their 67-run partnership.

Ian Bell had passed 50 for England on an overcast morning but seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed two quick wickets in a fine spell of bowling.

Nightwatchman Chris Jordan (13) was the first to fall when he played a loose pull shot and was caught at mid-wicket by Varun Aaron.

Bell (58) followed when Kumar tempted him into playing at a ball outside off stump and he edged it to wicketkeeper MS Dhoni.

Root and Moeen Ali nudged England ahead but Moeen (13) was dismissed when Aaron clean bowled him with a brutal inswinging delivery before Root and Buttler took the hosts safely to lunch.

England resumed on 201 for six after the break, with Root and Buttler comfortably rotating the strike but their progress was halted by the heavy rain.

Despite the best efforts of the groundstaff, the umpires ruled that a sodden corner of the outfield remained unsafe and play was abandoned.

The five-match series is level at 1-1.

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