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Swann, Onions Torment West Indies On Day Two

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The West Indies endured a nightmare day at Lord’s on Thursday as Graeme Swann, with bat and ball, and debutant pacer Graham Onions, with a five-wicket haul, gave England a winning platform after only two days of the first Test.

England, overnight 298 for seven, powered to 377 all out as first day centurion Ravi Bopara (143) and Swann, with a career-best 63 not out, kept the momentum with the hosts.

Fidel Edwards, so impressive on day one, ended with deserving figures of six for 92 but his big smile as he walked off was soon eroded by his team’s batting collapse.

The visitors, despite reaching 70 for one, were toppled for 152 in their first innings to concede a formidable lead of 225. The Caribbean men, forced to follow on, limped to 39 for two batting again, still 186 in arrears.

Devon Smith top scored in the first innings with a composed 46 and remained defiant on 26 not out second time around.

Fast bowler, Stuart Broad, (two for 57) made the initial strikes in West Indies first innings. Off-spinner Swann (three for 16) engineered the middle order collapse while Onions provided the gravy with the final five wickets in a clatter.

Onions, the 6 foot, 2 inch Durham paceman, ended with five for 38.

James Anderson, who went wicketless in the first innings, landed two crucial blows in the second dig removing captain Chris Gayle for a duck and Ramaresh Sarwan cheaply.

England began the day with a flourish as Bopara and Swann stretched their eighth wicket association to 93, the best stand of the innings.

Swann’s counter-attack dominated the partnership and West Indian spirits quickly wilted on a chilly day in London.

The ebullient all-rounder arrived at fifty off 73 balls with a disdainful pull for six off Lionel Baker that epitomized the day. He added nine fours.

The West Indies brushed aside the last three wickets once Bopara, overnight 118, drove Jerome Taylor to extra cover Brendan Nash, who ironically was the one that began the spate of dropped catches on Wednesday when Bopara was 76.

Edwards wrapped up the innings with two wickets in two balls. Anderson, shaken up by a nasty blow to the back of the helmet, edged to the keeper while Onions’ first ball in Test cricket ended with his stumps shattered.

The West Indies reply began positively as the innovative England tactic of using Swann with the new ball failed.

Gayle played some booming drives in racing to 28 off 34 balls before, on the back foot, he dragged on one that nipped back from Broad at 46 for one.

Sarwan, so prolific in the Digicel Series in the Caribbean, began with two gorgeous clips through leg for fours. But Broad claimed him for 13 as one feathered the bottom edge as it seamed away.

Swann’s return began a terminal collapse once Smith (seven fours) missed a straight one for his fourth dismissal in six innings against the England off-spinner.

Batting rock, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, departed first ball as he edged a big-spinning off break to slip. The slide continued after tea when fellow left-hander Nash followed in similar fashion.

There was more drama to follow as Onions, wicketless in his first five overs, then produced a rich harvest with four in seven balls, including three in his sixth over.

Lendl Simmons steered a lifter to first slip, Jerome Taylor gloved a pull for a leg side wicket-keepers catch while a rushed Sulieman Benn sparred to third slip.

Ramdin followed in Onions next over, clearly leg before on the back foot.

Baker (17) and Edwards (11 not out) saved some face in a last wicket stand of 24 but Onions clinched Baker leg before for his fifth scalp.

England skipper, Andrew Strauss, as he was averse to do in the Caribbean, enforced the follow on in the seamer-friendly conditions of home, and made further progress in the hour before close.

Gayle and Sarwan fell, each mirroring each other’s first innings dismissal.

Gayle sparred an away-swinger to third slip, while Sarwan diverted one that nipped back onto his stumps.

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Written by jamarch