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Day three: a tale of rain & light

A frustrating day of cricket at Lord's on day three of the npower Test at Lord's. Rain delays Bangladesh's reply before England's bowlers revel in overcast conditions.

With less than an hour to go until the scheduled start (at 11am) the threatened rain started to arrive at Lord's.

A frustrating five hours followed with the Lord's groundstaff dancing the 'covers hokey-cokey' - with the covers on again, off again throughout the afternoon.

Finally, at just after 3 o'clock, play resumed. Juhurul and Siddique looked to build on the solid foundations they built yesterday. Young Steve Finn had other ideas.

The 21-year-old England bowler, in his first Test match at Lord's removed the doughty Siddique in just his second over of the day.

After his stoic half-century yesterday Siddique looked to be in control, pulling the bat away from a rising delivery but the faintest edge gifted a catch to Matt Prior behind the stumps.

The Middlesex paceman was at it again in his next over, rapping Mohammad Ashraful on the pads. Umpire Asoka Da Silva pondered before raising the finger. Once again, repeated TV replays suggested Ashraful may have been a fraction unlucky.

Perfect delivery

Bowling at the other end, when he too prefers the Pavilion End, James Anderson may have watched on with a touch of envy. The 'Burnley Express' has been England's wicket-taking strike bowler in recent times.

After feeling his way in from the Nursery End, Anderson finally found his line and length. An almost perfect delivery arrowed towards Jahurul but left him off the pitch gifting an edge to a delighted Matt Prior.

Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim resisted for more than ten overs and looked set to dig in until the delayed Tea interval just after five o'clock.

Once again an England bowler upset their plans - Anderson whizzing in some quick deliveries to unsettle Shakib. The Tigers' skipper almost escaped as Prior could only parry the ball but England captain Strauss leapt in, nearly taking it from Prior's gloves as the 'keeper juggled it.

The final over before Tea was bowled by Jonathan Trott - a move that looked entirely motivated by Strauss' lack of a fourth seam option.

A wickedly testing over from Trott, in which he was unlucky not to have taken Mahmudullah's wicket twice, earned him the right to try again from the Pavilion End after Tea.

'Bad light boogie'

Then, after the 'covers hokey-cokey' came the 'bad light boogie'.

As more cloud loomed over Lord's the light faded and both umpires and Bangladesh batsmen fidgeted uncomfortably.

With the new ball nearly due, Strauss persevered with Tim Bresnan who continued to bowl some decent deliveries without reward.

After one ball went straight past everything Mushfiqur put forward the umpires called the players off for bad light for the first time.

They came out again just moment later and Strauss, undeterred took the new ball and tossed it straight to the rapid Steve Finn.

With just the second ball of the over Finn also beat Mushfiqur but also rocked back his middle stump. The crowd roared, the umpires twitched again and moments after Mushfiqur walked up the Pavilion steps the other players and umpires followed him - bad light again.

A ten minute break was followed by just one Anderson over before everyone trudged off again. To give the umpires their due, the light over Lord's did seem to be on an infernal dimmer-switch - it was a tricky task for the officials.

It was also a tricky job for the Bangladesh batsmen. Mushfiqur especially can count himself unlucky to have lost his wicket so close to a break in play.

Nonetheless, England will be back tomorrow (with a far better weather forecast) and Bangladesh seven wickets down - still 69 runs short of the follow-on target.

Day two's bowling hero Shahadat Hossain looks very much a number 11 batsman as opposed to a number nine. Much will rest on the shoulders of former MCC Young Cricket Mahmudullah at the other end.

The off-spinning all-rounder scored his maiden Test century earlier this year. Bangladesh would settle for around half that tomorrow.

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