No play possible after lunch on day five at Old Trafford.
Fresh rain meant only three balls were possible after lunch on Monday’s final day before the third Test between England and Australia at Old Trafford was halted once again.
The second session had been delayed by 20 minutes after a shower during the lunch interval but this latest downpour was more severe.
In between the rain breaks, there was time for Australia paceman Peter Siddle to strike Ian Bell a painful blow on the thumb with the third ball after lunch.
While Bell received on-field treatment from England’s physiotherapist, rain started to fall and the umpires took the players off the field before the pitch and square were covered.
England were now 37 for three, after suffering a top-order collapse that saw captain Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott and first-innings century-maker Kevin Pietersen all dismissed after Australia captain Michael Clarke declared on his side’s overnight 172 for seven.
Ashes-holders England, 2-0 up in the five-match series, needed a further 295 runs to reach their victory target of 332, with Joe Root 13 not out and Bell four not out.
But their main target was to secure a draw that would see them retain the Ashes they hold courtesy of a 3-1 series win in Australia in 2010/11.