LONDON, Aug 18 (IANS): Only 26 overs were possible as the rain came down heavily, forcing abandonment of the first day's play of the fourth and last cricket Test between India and England at The Oval here Thursday.
England cruised to 75 for no loss in their first innings at lunch with Andrew Strauss batting on 38 and Alastair Cook 34 at the break after dominating the first session's play.
The two gave England a perfect start after Strauss opted to bat. But play was not possible after that as the rain came down heavily during the lunch break.
The Indian bowlers failed to threaten the English openers, who scored at ease on both sides of the wicket. Ishant Sharma, however, was the best of the lot, varying both his pace and swing.
The lanky fast bowler struck Strauss on his helmet and a chunk of the lid went flying. It made Strauss reluctant to go on the front foot but he still played cleverly for his runs, hitting five fours.
Fast bowler Rudra Pratap Singh, who is making a comeback after three years, was rusty and wayward. Sreesanth was also poor in his first spell, spraying down the leg side that allowed both Strauss and Cook to score freely.