Rain delays Rose Bowl Test start

Sri Lanka need a win in the Rose Bowl Test to level series against England Getty Images

Southampton, England: Jun 16, 2011

Rain delayed the scheduled 11:00am local time (15:30 IST) start of the third and final Test between England and Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl here on Thursday.

However, brightening skies above the ground and the removal of covers on both sides of the square gave spectators hope they would see some play on the first day of the Rose Bowl’s Test debut.

The home of southern county Hampshire was set to become Britain’s tenth Test ground and the ninth still in use for international cricket — Sheffield’s Bramall Lane staged its first and only Test against Australia in 1902.

After Bramall Lane’s debut, where Australia beat England by 143 runs, there were no new Test grounds in England and Wales for more than a century.

But the past eight years have also seen north-east county Durham’s Riverside ground (England against Zimbabwe in 2003) and Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens (England against Australia in 2009) make their Test debuts.

Bramall Lane is the only one of their home grounds where England have lost a debut Test.

England lead this series 1-0 after an innings and 14-run victory in the first Test in Cardiff was followed by the drawn second Test at Lord’s.