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May 8, 2009
Statement of the day
Aside from his brief debut innings, about the only error that Graham Onions made on a memorable second day came with his first delivery, a long-hop loosener that was belted for four by Devon Smith. Twenty-four hours and five wickets later, he dropped short again with his first ball of the second innings, but this time he did so with far greater intent. Lendl Simmons stood tall and attempted to pull, but the ball was onto him far quicker than anticipated, and struck him flush on the helmet.
Belated arrival of the day
There are, in case it escaped your notice, two debutants competing in this contest. But while Onions has been the toast of the Test, his fellow newbie, Tim Bresnan, has been left to graze in the outfield and ponder his personal misfortune. He received a shocker of an lbw decision while batting on the first day, he was surplus to requirements during the first-innings rout, and his solitary over on the second evening came moments before the offer of bad light. It wasn't until 2.15pm on the third afternoon that he was finally given a proper chance to turn his arm over, but his six-over burst made little impression.
Arrested developer of the day
Devon Smith has been living on past glories for longer than most cricketers have ever managed. In a six-year career, he has managed a solitary century in 30 Tests - against England in Jamaica in March 2004 (Harmison's Test, no less), and until his 55 at Barbados two months ago, he had not posted a half-century for three-and-a-half years. In this Test, the qualities that have enabled him to retain his place melded perfectly with the reasons why he should be evicted. After a composed 46 in the first innings, he followed up with 41 in the second. The ball that did for him was a jaffa - full, fast and zipping back late - but the failure to progress was sadly familiar.
Improbable failure of the day
Shivnarine Chanderpaul has rightly earned the reputation as the rock of West Indies' batting line-up, so his twin failure in this match has been a hefty set-back to their prospects. After a first-baller in the first innings, he managed 4 from five today, as Graeme Swann once again got the better of him at a crucial juncture of the innings. It was a notable double-whammy for Chanderpaul, whose tally of four runs in a full two-innings Test match is the lowest he has ever recorded in 15 years and 120 Tests. With Kevin Pietersen also registering a golden duck, the two most notable batsmen in the contest have faced seven balls between them.
Resistance of the day
In Chanderpaul's absence, West Indies' rearguard was placed in the hands of his acolyte, Brendan Nash. Another nuggetty left-hander with powers of concentration far in excess of those of his team-mates, Nash produced a gem of an innings, at once obdurate, defiant and counterattacking. He made his maiden Test century when these teams last met in Trinidad, and continued in that confident vein with 81 from 139 balls.
Partnership of the day
After a collapse of 3 for 9 in 12 balls, West Indies looked to be hurtling to a defeat as ignominious as England's own first-Test hammering in Jamaica three months ago. But then, belatedly but encouragingly, they rediscovered the grittiness that had been their hallmark during the Caribbean campaign. The sun came out and the swing disappeared, but nevertheless, while Nash and Denesh Ramdin were adding 143 for the sixth wicket, a sheen of pride was restored to a tarnished performance.
Drop of the day
Seconds after Ramdin had raised the hundred stand with a fierce cut past point, he offered up the chance that could have sealed the contest before tea. It was nothing more than a limp poke back towards the bowler - the ball looped off the leading edge after stopping a fraction in the pitch - but Onions was caught unawares in his followthrough, and having reached out with his right hand, was unable to cling on. By the time Broad extracted Ramdin with an off-stump beauty, the innings defeat had been all but obliterated.
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