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  • England v West Indies, 3rd Test, Edgbaston

First day at Edgbaston washed out

The Report by David Hopps
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It was a damp morning in Birmingham © AFP
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England's ambitions to inflict a 3-0 whitewash upon West Indies were frustrated by the weather as rain washed out the first day of the third Test at Edgbaston. It was the first time a full day's play in a Test in England had been lost because of bad weather since the third day of the 2009 Ashes clash against Australia, also at Edgbaston.

Rain is forecast on Friday as well, raising the possibility that the opening two days of a Test in England could be abandoned without play for the first time for nearly 50 years, since an Ashes clash at Lord's in 1964.

The toss and team announcements have yet to take place, leaving Stuart Broad to face another uncertain evening as he waits to see if he will be rested alongside his new-ball partner, James Anderson.

If Broad plays, only one of Steven Finn and Graham Onions is certain of a fast-bowling spot. Finn's reputation as one of the world's most-promising young fast bowlers suggests that he is the likelier choice but Graham Onions has been in outstanding county form for Durham and his case could become more persuasive as rain takes chunks out of the game.

For West Indies, Sunil Narine is favoured to replace his fellow spinner Shane Shillingford, who England dealt with comfortably at Trent Bridge, and either Tino Best or Fidel Edwards will partner Ravi Rampaul. Kirk Edwards is expected to lose his top-order batting place after an unproductive tour.

Heavy overnight and early morning rain meant the square was fully covered when the captains should have been tossing up ahead of a scheduled 11am start. There was only a brief spell when the covers were removed before fresh rain arrived. At 3.35pm it was announced that play had been abandoned for the day.

West Indies, meanwhile, have concerns about the fitness of key batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul - who went for a medical assessment on Thursday after appearing to suffer a side strain.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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