Only 10.2 overs were possible before play was abandoned on another frustrating day in the second test as Pakistan’s chances of a series-tying win further dwindled on Sunday.
Pakistan added 13 runs to scramble to 236 all out in their first innings, and had reduced England to 7-1 before the latest bout of rain arrived at the Rose Bowl halfway through the first session of the fourth day.
The players were taken off and never re-emerged, with play abandoned at tea because it would have taken up to three hours to get the field fit to play and the outfield even longer as it was extremely wet. It left England trailing by 229 runs with one day remaining.
The tourists had England’s batsmen exactly where they wanted them before the rain came, with Shaheen Afridi removing Rory Burns for 0 off the fourth ball of the innings and both Zak Crawley (5) and Dom Sibley (2) struggling to deal with a swinging and seaming ball.
Only five overs have been possible in England’s innings so far, but they were encouraging ones for Pakistan.
Resuming on 223-9 after the third day’s play was completely wiped out by rain, Pakistan added 13 runs before being dismissed when Mohammad Rizwan scooped a ball from Stuart Broad high into the air, with Crawley taking the catch at cover point to end an important lower-order knock of 72 by the wicketkeeper.
Broad finished with figures of 4-56.
Burns had already nicked Afridi just short of the slips off the first ball of the reply when the paceman found the outside edge again, and this time it carried to Asad Shafiq at second slip.
The left-handed Burns only made 4 and 10 in the first test in Manchester, which was won by the English by three wickets to earn them a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Another victory for England will clinch a first test series against Pakistan in 10 years and a second series of this pandemic-affected summer having already beaten the West Indies.