Onions stars in England’s fight


England might have had the audacity to rest their two leading strike bowlers, James Anderson and Stuart Broad, for a dead rubber at Edgbaston but their domination over West Indies remained as all three members of their pace attack picked up wickets by tea as the third Test belatedly got underway after two washed-out days. Graham Onions with his frequent strikes kept the hosts grip on the match while the tourists Ramdin was holding the resistance against England bowling as they reached 257 for eight by the close of day three.  Onions, earlier at tea, marked his England recall with two wickets as West Indies collapsed to 164 for five.
The tourists, who had been a solid 85 for one at lunch, lost four wickets for 79 runs in the second session, with Durham paceman Onions’s figures now standing at an economical two for 32 in 18 overs.
Fellow seamer Tim Bresnan weighed in with two for 44 in 16.  Marlon Samuels, who scored a century in England’s nine-wicket second Test win at Trent Bridge, was 50 not out and Denesh Ramdin one not out. History was against either side winning this match after the first two days had been washed out without a ball bowled. Only twice before in Test history had a team triumphed in such circumstances, with England beating New Zealand at Leeds in 1958 and New Zealand defeating Bangladesh at Hamilton in 2001.
It was no surprise when England captain Andrew Strauss opted to field first after winning the toss against a West Indies side whose top-order collapses had helped the hosts into an unassailable 2-0 lead in this three-Test series. Before this match, England had left James Anderson out of their 12-man squad in order to rest the Lancashire seamer and, before play started Saturday, they also omitted Stuart Broad.
Onions and Steven Finn were called up in place of the new-ball duo and, in overcast conditions, it was Onions, in his first Test in over two years, who nearly had an early breakthrough. Adrian Barath had made just four when Onions took his outside edge only for Ian Bell, fielding in the third slip position often occupied by Anderson, to drop the straightforward chance.
Although he had looked the least threatening of England’s three seamers, it was Bresnan who took the first wicket when he had Kieran Powell caught by second slip Graeme Swann for 24 to leave the tourists 49 for one. However, it wasn’t long before debutant Assad Fudadin, in for the the dropped Kirk Edwards, drove Finn through the covers for four.