Rain kept Stuart Broad waiting for his 500th Test wicket as bad weather frustrated England’s bid for a series-clinching win over the West Indies at Old Trafford on Monday.
Play was abandoned without a ball being bowled on the penultimate day of the three-match series.
England bowlers need to pick up eight wickets on the final day to win the match and reclaim the Wisden Trophy.
West Indies will resume on 10/2, chasing a unlikely victory target of 399, with the series all square at 1-1.
No side have made more to win in the fourth innings of an Old Trafford Test than England’s 294/4 against New Zealand in 2008.
West Indies, who hold the Wisden Trophy after a 2-1 win over Root’s men in the Caribbean last year, are bidding for their first Test series win in England since 1988.
Persistent rain meant the pitch and square remained fully covered and there was no play possible before lunch. Then came a fresh, heavy downpour in Manchester shortly before the scheduled interval further hampering prospects of action in the afternoon session.
Broad is just one wicket away from becoming only the seventh bowler to join the “500 club” after taking all six West Indies wickets that fell on Sunday.
The 34-year-old paceman returned first-innings figures of 6/31 as West Indies were bundled out for 197 in reply to England’s 369, which included Broad’s dashing 62.
And after England made 226/2 declared in their second innings, featuring Rory Burns’ 90 and fifties from captain Joe Root and Dom Sibley, there was still time for Broad to strike twice by removing John Campbell and nightwatchman Kemar Roach.
That left Broad, controversially omitted from West Indies’ win in the series opener at Southampton, on 499 Test wickets.
The only bowlers with more than 600 Test wickets are a trio of former spinners – Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Australian Shane Warne (708) and India’s Anil Kumble (619).
The only seamers ahead of Broad are his long-time England new-ball colleague James Anderson (589 wickets), Australia’s Glenn McGrath (563) and the West Indies’ Courtney Walsh (519), both of whom are retired.
(With AFP inputs)