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Debutant Onions inspires England

FIRST TEST, Lord's (day two, close):
England 377 v West Indies 152 & 39-2

Match scorecard

Graham Onions celebrates his five-wicket haul
Onions starred with a five-wicket haul that left West Indies in tatters

By Oliver Brett
BBC Sport at Lord's

Graham Onions enjoyed a dream debut on day two of the first Test as England's bowlers tore through West Indies on a chilly, overcast day at Lord's.

Having reached 99-2 in reply to the home team's 377, the Windies were blown away by a combination of Onions and spinner Graeme Swann (3-16) to collapse to 152 all out.

Five wickets fell in 14 balls after tea - four of them to Onions who took three in an over and wound up with a marvellous 5-38.

With five fit bowlers and the clouds remaining in place, Andrew Strauss enforced the follow-on and when bad light brought an early finish James Anderson had already removed Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan to leave West Indies 39-2, and still trailing by 186.

The game had advanced dramatically since the start of play, with England 289-7 and optimistically targeting 400.

Onions hails debut as 'dream come true'

Thanks to Swann's unbeaten 63, and Ravi Bopara - who turned his 118 into 143 - England almost got there.

Swann dominated the strike in a 93-run partnership with Bopara, opening with some handsome drives through the off-side off Fidel Edwards and then Jerome Taylor.

Starved of the early strike, Bopara did not miss out when it was his turn to profit from some woeful bowling. He went airborne to cut Edwards behind point for his first boundary of the day, and then drove the next ball past mid-on with a drive that had the connoisseurs purring.

The shots kept coming, and Swann's maiden Test half century arrived in style with a hook for six off Lionel Baker before Bopara drove Taylor to cover.

TMS BLOG
Oliver Brett

England's last two wickets fell in the first over after the interval. Anderson was caught behind off Edwards before Onions failed to survive his first ball - a knee-high full toss which crashed into his stumps.

Edwards, who had endured some awful dropped catches on Wednesday, finished with 6-92 for his second-best figures in Test cricket.

England did not start well with the ball.

Gayle targeted Stuart Broad for some ferocious treatment as the Nottinghamshire right-armer found swing, but not the right length.

At the other end, a curious decision by skipper Strauss to give spinner Swann the new ball backfired - and Anderson belatedly appeared to bowl the sixth over with the score already 32-0.

Finally, with the total on 46, Broad tucked Gayle up with a ball that swung into him, the left-hander got caught in a knot as he thought about a cut shot, and the stumps were re-arranged following a deflection off the inside edge.

Andrew Strauss congratulates Graeme Swann
Swann took two wickets in as many balls during a fine spell

Sarwan played nicely until Broad tempted him into driving at a wide one that just swung a fraction down the hill; the ball grazed the toe-end of the bat and Matt Prior made no mistake with the catch.

Devon Smith was now charged with playing the big innings for West Indies, and he began to look pretty handy - particularly when facing Onions, who he pulled for one boundary before driving the Durham man sweetly down the ground for another.

But it was time for Swann's second spell at the Pavilion End - and he responded magnificently.

He had dismissed Smith three times in the Caribbean over the winter and again had his number here, with a ball that went straight on, snuck between bat and pad and crashed into the stumps.

The next ball saw the end of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, this time to a classic off-break which the batsman edged to Paul Collingwood at slip.

JONATHAN AGNEW COLUMN

West Indies were in trouble on 99-4 at tea, but that was nothing compared to what was to follow.

Brendan Nash looked ill-at-ease against Swann, and it was no surprise when he also fell to a Collingwood slip catch, this time a fine take low to his left.

Onions was gradually becoming more confident, and in a sensational sixth over took three wickets.

Simmons fended an outswinger to first slip, Strauss taking a good catch above head height, Taylor was unlucky to bottom-edge a pull to Prior and then Benn's nick was taken by a diving Swann at third slip.

Fidel Edwards
Edwards saw his five-wicket haul overshadowed by the form of England's bowling attack

Denesh Ramdin was dropped by Tim Bresnan off the returning Broad, but he fell lbw in the next Onions over.

Suddenly transformed from the nervous debutant to the strutting pro, Onions had picked up four wickets in seven balls and so nearly had a fifth - but Collingwood dropped last man Baker in the slips.

That should have been 130 all out, and England missed another chance to finish off the innings on 139 following a comedy of almost epic proportions.

Baker hit up to mid-off, but the two batsmen ended up at the striker's end. Anderson's shy missed the stumps, Broad failed to collect the throw and there were two overthrows to boot when a second attempt also missed.

England bowlers were exceptional - Dyson

The innings finally came to an end on 152 when Onions won another lbw decision, and 10 minutes later Gayle and Smith were padded up again and walking to the crease.

Though Smith lived to fight another day, adding an unbeaten 26 to his first innings effort of 46, Gayle departed for a duck with an edge to third slip and Sarwan made just one before playing Anderson onto his stumps.

Bresnan, almost forgotten about up until then, had time to bowl just one over before the close but his opportunity will surely come on Friday, unless the other bowlers do all the damage again.



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see also
Onions savours dream Test debut
07 May 09 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
07 May 09 |  England
England v W Indies day two photos
07 May 09 |  England
England rescued by Bopara century
06 May 09 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
West Indies in England 2009
04 Dec 08 |  Cricket


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