Five-star Onions proud after Windies rout
England quick Graham Onions said his five-wicket haul on his Test debut against the West Indies in the series opener here at Lord's was a reward for the hard work he'd put in during the off-season.cricket Updated: May 08, 2009 09:54 IST
England quick Graham Onions said his five-wicket haul on his Test debut against the West Indies in the series opener here at Lord's was a reward for the hard work he'd put in during the off-season.
The 26-year-old Durham paceman enjoyed a dramatic start to his international career here on Thursday when, after being dismissed for a duck, he took five wickets for 38 runs in 9.3 overs as West Indies were made to follow-on.
At stumps on the second day the tourists were 39 for two in their second innings, still 186 runs behind, after Onions - whose first four wickets came in just seven balls - had helped dismiss them for 152 in reply to England's first innings 377.
"It's been a day I'll never forget. It's a cliche but it is a dream come true," said Onions, who took three wickets in his sixth over to dismiss Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor and Sulieman Benn.
Onions said of being left out of county champions Durham's title-clinching match away to Kent last season had spurred him into action.
"I've been through a lot of ups and downs. It hurt me when I didn't travel down to Kent when Durham won the Championship, I could have taken it one of two ways. I spent a lot of time in the gym and I felt fit and strong."
Onions wasn't alone in having a day to remember. Ravi Bopara extended his Test-best score to 143 and Graeme Swann starred with both bat and ball.
The off-spinner made a Test-best 63 that belied his position as a No 9 and then sparked the West Indies' collapse with two wickets in two balls, including the prize scalp of Shivnarine Chanderpaul for a golden duck.
"There are a lot of people in the changing rooms who need a pat on the back as well," Onions added.
"Graeme Swann set the tone with bat, Ravi Bopara getting 100 plus, the foundations are there. Graeme chipped in with a few wickets and it was a day when the team shone through," Onions insisted.
Injured England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff was on hand to watch Onions's performance.
"Just before I was going to bat he came over, shook my hand and said 'congratulations'. That worked. Cheers Fred!," joked Onions.
"But I really do feel part of this team and I'm sure I've got a lot to offer."
West Indies coach John Dyson admitted his side faced a massive task if they were not to go 1-0 down in this two-match series ahead of next week's Test at Onions's Riverside home ground.
"It's got to be an amazing fight. We've got to bat exceptionally well and just hang in there. We just have to bat well," the former opener, a member of the Australia side that lost after enforcing the follow-on against England in 1981 at Headingley in one of the most dramatic Tests of all time, explained.
Dyson, who oversaw the West Indies' 1-0 series win against England in the Caribbean this year, added: "I think England bowled exceptionally well today. They bowled with pace, they bowled with intent, they hit the seam and the fielders caught well.
"It was a very impressive display, you can see they are far more comfortable in their own conditions."