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England lose Test warm-up game by three wickets to New Zealand XI

Watling's second half-century gives Cook and Co plenty to ponder ahead of first Test as England lose tour match

By
David Clough, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

07:33 GMT, 2 March 2013

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UPDATED:

07:33 GMT, 2 March 2013

England suffered an unexpected defeat as BJ Watling's second half-century of the match proved too much for the tourists at the Queenstown Event Centre ground.

Watling (89no) followed his unbeaten 66 in the first innings with another telling contribution to help a New Zealand XI chase 334 to prevail in a tight finish with eight balls and three wickets to spare.

England, in their first red-ball fixture of a double-Ashes year in this warm-up for the first of three Tests in Dunedin, were losing in a first-class tour match for the first time in almost seven years – the last defeat came against an India board XI in Vadodara.

Trudging off: England captain Alastair Cook alongside Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad react after losing to the New Zealand XI

Trudging off: England captain Alastair Cook alongside Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad react after losing to the New Zealand XI

Watling finished with eight fours and two sixes from 122 balls, in a run chase which featured three other individual scores between 40 and 50 as England – without rested frontline seamers James Anderson and Steven Finn – paid for an unconvincing performance with the ball in particular.

Graham Onions lost his way, and it is hard to see him being considered as the go-to back-up Test seamer if needed after recording match figures of one for 213.

Inconsistent batting from the top six was also part of the problem – with Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott and Nick Compton all short of runs as the Test series looms.

There was no particular shame in losing to a team in which all but Carl Cachopa have international experience, and five – including wicketkeeper Watling – are in the squad to face England again next week.

It is hardly the start Alastair Cook would have wanted nonetheless as his side seek to follow up their historic series win in India with more success here over the next three weeks.

After England declared on their overnight 256 for nine, progress was initially unremarkable for both sides.

Openers Hamish Rutherford and Tom Latham began the chase with their second stand of 56 in this match, at four-an-over on a cloudy morning which yielded no immediate headway for Stuart Broad and Onions with the new ball.

Rutherford even climbed into an upper-cut which deposited a short ball from Broad high over point and into the enclosure in front of the players' pavilion for six.

Soon afterwards, Broad hit the same batsman on the head with a sharp bouncer.
But it was first-change Chris Woakes who made the first breakthrough when Rutherford cut him into the hands of point.

Woakes was rewarded for a spell which was much-improved from his first-innings efforts, and Broad also struck in the next over when he switched to a fuller length and bowled a static Cachopa for a third-ball duck.

Onions looked a slightly more likely wicket-taker too for a time, but no one could find a way past Latham or Neil Broom up to lunch.

Their stand had extended to 64 by the time Swann got Latham two short of his half-century, apparently caught-behind as he tried to sweep.

Then with the first ball after mid-session drinks, Broad saw off Broom lbw playing no shot.

When Dean Brownlie went too before tea, neatly caught low at second slip by Swann off the returning Woakes, the hosts were running out of frontline batsmen.

But Watling and Corey Anderson, who had battered England for a rapid century stand in the first innings, were once more in occupation.

They almost repeated the dose too, in a partnership of 82 this time which took the hosts to well within 100 runs of their target with more than 20 overs remaining.

Onions had suffered at Anderson's hands yesterday, and did so again today in two overs which cost 23 runs and contained three no-balls.

A much-needed wicket came from an unlikely source in Joe Root, who did Anderson in the flight as he aimed another big hit to leg and was bowled.

Swann, off the field for several overs previously, returned only to almost immediately drop Watling on 47 off Broad at gully.

It proved a costly miss – because, even after Jimmy Neesham had pulled a Root long-hop straight into Broad's hands at square-leg, Watling saw the job through against the second new ball in an unbroken half-century stand alongside Neil Wagner.

Tim Bresnan, Graham Onions and Stuart Meaker battle for role against India

Bresnan, Onions and Meaker in with a shout as England prepare for final India warm-up

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UPDATED:

14:29 GMT, 7 November 2012

England will go into Thursday's third and final warm-up game looking to make a final decision on the identity of their bowling attack for next week's first Test against India.

With both Stuart Broad and Steven Finn sitting out the four-day match against Haryana as they recover from injuries, the game could come down to a shootout for the third seamer's role between Tim Bresnan, Graham Onions and Stuart Meaker, who arrived in India on Tuesday after Finn strained a thigh in the tour opener against India A.

Different ball game: Graham Onions relaxes at the Kensville Golf Resort

Different ball game: Graham Onions relaxes at the Kensville Golf Resort

And if Broad fails to recover in time for the first Test from the bruised heel he picked up on Sunday against Mumbai A, then two seam-bowling spots could be up for grabs against India alongside attack leader Jimmy Anderson, who relaxed earlier on Wednesday on a local golf course, along with Bresnan, Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott and Jonny Bairstow.

England could do with a testing workout against Haryana, but there are no guarantees.

The Indian team were dismissed last week for 55 in the opening round of Ranji Trophy matches, and they have picked only four players over the age of 25 for Thursday's match.

Taking it easy: (from left) James Anderson, Tim Bresnan and Onions

Taking it easy: (from left) James Anderson, Tim Bresnan and Onions

Coach Andy Flower visited the Motera Stadium although England's game will take place on the nursery ground, next to the main venue.

The wicket has a decent covering of grass, which means – for the third match in a row – England may be thwarted in their efforts to face top-class spin.

Haryana are captained by leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who played the most recent of his 13 Tests at The Oval in 2011.

But if the pitch is green, Mishra may not send down as many overs as England would probably like.

Have a hit: Ian Bell watches one of his iron shots as the England players bond

Have a hit: Ian Bell watches one of his iron shots as the England players bond

Graham Onions set for England chance in India warm-up against Haryana

Onions set for chance to win England place with Finn absent for latest India warm-up

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UPDATED:

14:06 GMT, 2 November 2012

England are likely to make several changes, just one enforced, to their team for Saturday's second match on their tour of India.

Steven Finn is certain to be missing because of his thigh strain against Mumbai A at the DY Patil Sports Academy, where new Test captain Alastair Cook could also take a breather after his century in the first match at the Brabourne Stadium.

England finished that three-day fixture with natural concerns over Finn, who managed just four overs before pulling up injured on day one and taking no further part.

Time to shine: Seamer Graham Onions is set to play for England on Saturday

Time to shine: Seamer Graham Onions is set to play for England on Saturday

The fast bowler was thought a likely member of a three-man pace attack for the first Test in Ahmedabad, but will surely have to play and come through unscathed the third tour match there if England are to stick to Plan A on November 15.

In his absence against India A, Tim Bresnan and James Anderson had to churn out more than 50 overs between them as the hosts reached 369 all out in the first innings and then put themselves back in front on 124 for four second time round.

Anderson said of Finn's setback: 'It's not ideal because you want to choose from your strongest squad.

'But we're lucky we have a number of bowlers who can come in and do a great job for us.'

Two men who can therefore expect to play for sure are Stuart Broad, the new Test vice-captain who could also deputise in charge for Cook, and Graham Onions.

One or even both of Anderson and Bresnan, with plenty of overs under their belts already, can take a break.

Ready for action: Stuart Broad practices in Mumbai on Thursday

Ready for action: Stuart Broad practices in Mumbai on Thursday

'Graham Onions, I'm sure, will get a chance in the next couple of games to show what he can do,' said Anderson. 'It's exciting for those guys. Obviously it's unfortunate for Steven – we'd like him to be fit for selection – but injuries do happen.'

England's other pressing concern, following a fixture in which Kevin Pietersen appeared to make a harmonious return after his summer of discontent, was a third-ball duck on debut for prospective Test opener Nick Compton.

Should Cook sit out proceedings, Compton and young Yorkshireman Joe Root may both be given a chance to impress at the top of the order over the next three days.

Either way, Anderson is unperturbed by what he has seen so far from batsmen who piled up 426 between them, or bowlers who stuck to their task admirably.

'We got two guys getting hundreds, a couple of 50s in there, and the lower order chipped in with useful runs,' he said. 'I think that's the way we're going to win Test matches out here.'

Chris Tremlett could face surgery

EXCLUSIVE: Tremlett could face knee surgery as fears grow over bowler's future

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UPDATED:

21:34 GMT, 23 July 2012

England fast bowler Chris Tremlett will see a knee specialist later this week amid concerns about his future at the highest level.

The 6ft 7in seamer, 31 in September, missed Surrey’s county championship match against Nottinghamshire last week, the official explanation being that he was ‘heavy-legged’.

But a specialist will now determine the exact nature of the injury to his right knee, with sources fearing he could face surgery. An operation would almost certainly rule him out of the rest of the summer and threaten his place in England’s tour party for the four-Test series in India starting in November.

Concern: Chris Tremlett continues to be troubled by a knee injury

Concern: Chris Tremlett continues to be troubled by a knee injury

Tremlett had only recently returned to first-class cricket after flying home early from England’s tour of the UAE in January with back trouble.

Injuries have limited him to only 11 Test appearances, which have brought 49 wickets at an average of 26 — but he has played in only one of England’s last 12 Tests after his starring role in series wins over Australia and Sri Lanka.

Since then he has fallen behind Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn and Graham Onions in England’s competitive seam-bowling hierarchy.

England beaten by South Africa in first Test at the Oval

Steyn rips apart limp England rearguard as South Africa wrap up first Test victory

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UPDATED:

15:22 GMT, 23 July 2012

Ian Bell's admirable resistance foundered against Dale Steyn as England descended to an innings defeat in the first Investec Test.

Bell (55) strove with great resolution and skill to try to make up for England's earlier deficiencies against South Africa at the Kia Oval.

But Steyn (five for 56) administered the telling blows with the second new ball shortly before tea on the final day as the tourists surged to a richly-deserved victory by an innings and 12 runs to go 1-0 up with two to play.

Timber: Ravi Bopara is bowled by Dale Steyn on day five of the first Test at the Oval

Timber: Ravi Bopara is bowled by Dale Steyn on day five of the first Test at the Oval

England v South Africa

Click here for a full scorecard

Much damage was done to home
aspirations at the start of this table-topping series by their
first-innings batting, specifically the failure to consolidate after
Alastair Cook's hundred, and then an inability to contain South Africa's
reply on a flat pitch.

On the back of Hashim Amla's historic
triple-century, and hundreds too from captain Graeme Smith and Jacques
Kallis, the tourists piled up an astonishing 637 for two declared.

World number ones England found
themselves a vulnerable 102 for four, still 150 behind, as they resumed
on a glorious but vexed morning.

In those circumstances, an unlikely
escape would have been an uncanny outcome to a match dominated so
completely by the tourists for three successive days.

Steam Steyn: The fast bowler (left) celebrates after bowling Bopara for 22 runs on Monday morning

Steam Steyn: The fast bowler (left) celebrates after bowling Bopara for 22 runs on Monday morning

Delaying the inevitable: Ian Bell was the only leading batsman who offered any form of resistance, scoring 55

Delaying the inevitable: Ian Bell was the only leading batsman who offered any form of resistance, scoring 55

Bell tried to show some British backbone nonetheless.

He dug in, and England retained hope
of pulling off another famous rearguard – against opponents they twice
denied victory in the drawn 2009/10 series when number 11 Graham Onions
blocked out the final overs to secure 'stalemates'.

This time, England were pinning initial hopes on remaining frontline batsmen Bell and Ravi Bopara.

But the fifth-wicket pair, who first
joined forces last night, had just completed a 50 stand when Bopara got
out in frustrating circumstances for the second time in the match to
Steyn.

The number six had contrived to edge a
looping bouncer behind as he failed to bail out of a pull shot in the
first innings; today, he went after another short ball but edged down on
to his stumps as he aimed past point.

Rare counter-attack: Bell hits out on the way to his half-century at the Oval on Monday

Rare counter-attack: Bell hits out on the way to his half-century at the Oval on Monday

Jacques won't let this one slip: Matt Prior edges a ball from Imran Tahir and is caught by Kallis (left)

Jacques won't let this one slip: Matt Prior edges a ball from Imran Tahir and is caught by Kallis (left)

Bell would have followed him back on 20, had AB de Villiers held a thin edge behind off a leg-break in Imran Tahir's first over.

He appeared to be in for the long
haul, though, dealing stoically with South Africa's powerful and
multi-dimensional attack on a surface showing fifth-day wear and tear
but by no means unplayable.

While Bell and Matt Prior's sixth-wicket stand of 86 was intact, there was a feasibility about England's survival.

It lasted well into the afternoon, and
took the hosts to within 50 runs of making South Africa bat again – as
well as containing the moment when Bell completed his four-hour 50 off
189 balls.

Yet just as English supporters were
daring to dream, Prior picked the wrong option – stretching for a sweep
at Tahir (three for 63) and toe-ending an edge to slip, via wicketkeeper
De Villiers.

More than ever, therefore, depended on Bell.

Winning feeling: Tahir celebrates after dismissing Prior after lunch on day five in south London

Winning feeling: Tahir celebrates after dismissing Prior after lunch on day five in south London

He was reviving memories of his near
five hours of resistance in Cape Town when England last defied South
Africa two and a half years ago.

But he could not get past the second
new ball and Steyn, undone by movement away off the pitch, and the extra
pace, with a delivery which appeared to slide off the face of the bat
to second slip, where Kallis took his second important catch in the
space of half-an-hour.

Steyn doubled up with the wicket of
Stuart Broad, caught-behind down the leg-side after a DRS procedure
overturned Asad Rauf's initial not-out verdict.

From 210 for eight, with no specialist
batsmen left, it therefore appeared only the margin of England's defeat
remained to be determined.

So it proved too, appropriate
ultimately that the world's premier fast bowler should take three
wickets for four runs to help close out South Africa's success and
England lost their last five for only 37 on the way to 240 all out – a
fair representation of the gulf between these two teams here.

Graham Onions doubtful for England against South Africa

Onions injury scare ahead of first Test as England bowler is forced to miss nets session

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UPDATED:

10:45 GMT, 18 July 2012

Cause for concern: Graham Onions

Cause for concern: Graham Onions

Graham Onions is a major doubt for England as they prepare for the first Test against South Africa after missing Wednesday morning's practice session with a hamstring strain.

Onions, included in England's 13-man squad as an extra pace bowling option, only joined his team-mates for warm-ups.

He has not yet been ruled out of contention to play at The Oval on Thursday.

The Durham bowler was an outsider to
be included as England's third seamer, in any case, with incumbent Tim
Bresnan and also Steven Finn likelier choices in most minds.

There was other business to be
settled for England on the eve of the clash, with their 30-man
preliminary ICC World Twenty20 squad set to be announced at 2pm.

The list will be notable for the
absence or otherwise of Kevin Pietersen, whose on-off limited-overs
retirement will probably depend on whether he can reach a compromise
deal with the England and Wales Cricket Board in time to play in the
World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September.

Tim Bresnan exclusive: I"m the workhorse who lets others shine

EXCLUSIVE: I'm the workhorse who lets others shine, says England ace Bresnan

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 13 July 2012

Real men don't eat quiche. So it comes as no surprise when Tim Bresnan shoves his dinner plate across the table, focuses on the one significant remnant and offers an apology for being wasteful: 'Sorry, I'm allergic to eggs.'

All his reflections over the next quarter-of-an-hour conform to masculine stereotype. Bresnan is what old soaks in the Yorkshire pit town where he grew up call a 'man's man'. In an age when sport and celebrity are natural bedfellows, he is something of a throwback to a previous era, eschewing fancy trappings for an ordinary life.

In contrast, his three years as a Test cricketer have been anything but ordinary. Until incessant rain ruined the match against West Indies at Edgbaston last month, his record was unblemished: played 13, won 13.

Fit and firing: Tim Bresnan is ready to take on South Africa at the Oval next week... weather permitting

Fit and firing: Tim Bresnan is ready to take on South Africa at the Oval next week… weather permitting

Next week he will turn up at The Kia Oval, having declared himself fully recovered from an elbow injury, ahead of the hotly anticipated first match of the Investec Series against South Africa.

He will go through a customary, if unusual, ritual that has seen him consistently preferred to pace rivals Steven Finn and Graham Onions. On practice days, he prepares as if he expects to be left out.

'I never feel like the man in possession of an England shirt because I think that would be quite dangerous,' says Bresnan at ASDA House, Leeds. 'If ever I considered myself to be the first name on the team sheet that would reduce my effectiveness because then I would not be pushing myself as hard.

'As a rule, I like to think that I am not playing every single time I turn up, and then it feels as though there is something to prove when you head into the nets.

'I always feel that I have to push my name for selection. Steven Finn and Graham Onions are both fantastic bowlers, so why wouldn't I think that

'I genuinely believe it helps my performances – I am fully ready every Thursday morning because I have practised so hard a couple of days before. Justifying my selection is just part of me.'

Howzat: Bresnan celebrates the wicket of Michael Clarke in the recent NatWest series thrashing of Australia

Howzat: Bresnan celebrates the wicket of Michael Clarke in the recent NatWest series thrashing of Australia

Seldom has he failed to justify it. Although, on debut against West Indies at Lord's in May 2009, Bresnan felt like a spare part. He didn't bowl in the first innings and went wicketless in the second. 'I asked myself, “Am I playing as a batter Or what” '

That match represented Andy Flower's first as England team director; Bresnan embodies the qualities of the team Flower has moulded. He is an undemonstrative cricketer with demonic ability.

In Steve James's excellent book The Plan, the author recalls a conversation with Flower in the aftermath of Bresnan's second Test appearance. Asked his opinion of the Yorkshireman, James's assessment, 'a competent fourth seamer', was met with: 'He's the best fourth seamer in the world, if that's the case.'

A glance at the numbers – a batting average above 40 complementing 55 wickets at 26 runs apiece – suggests England have a genuine world-class all-rounder in their midst. Andrew Flintoff, a magnet to the words world and class throughout an 11-year international career, averaged 20.6 and 45.6 respectively at the same stage, and 31.8 and 32.8 by its end.

Genuine all-rounder: Bresnan's batting average currently sits above 40 in Test matches

Genuine all-rounder: Bresnan's batting average currently sits above 40 in Test matches

'It would be something to shout about, and very impressive, if I finish my career with those statistics,' says Bresnan. 'But as far as they go now I don't really care. I honestly just want to be doing my job for the team.

'It is simple and suits me down to the ground. Everyone seems happy with what I've done so far, and if I keep doing the same thing, who knows

'Deon Kruis, who I played with at Yorkshire, put what I do in a good way. We used to run in all day as the change bowlers, pass the baton and then somebody else would come back on and get a load of wickets. “We'll pump the tyres, lads, you ride the bicycle”, he used to say.

'But the hard yards have got to be done by someone and I stick my hand up every time. I don't feel as though I need a big pat on the back, or anything like that.'

Slavish devotion to basic principles – aiming to hit the top of off stump when bowling and the ball hard when batting – propelled Bresnan, plucked from the rugby league heartland, to make his Yorkshire debut at 16, through the England age groups to the pinnacle of the game. He maintains a similar mentality off the field, too.

Back to basics: Bresnan keeps his bowling simple - aim at the top of off stump - and it has brought results

Back to basics: Bresnan keeps his bowling simple – aim at the top of off stump – and it has brought results

'Most of my time at home is spent pottering about. To be honest, I don't really do a lot.

'When I can get there I still go and watch Castleford Tigers, and I still go to the local with my mates,' he adds. 'I don't even get recognised, to be honest. I seem to slip under the radar and that suits me. Even if I walked into the Green Dragon in Pontefract, no-one bothers me.

'Perhaps it's because I look fat on telly, and they think, “No, it can't be him, he's too thin”.'

TIM BRESNAN is an ambassador for the ASDA Kwik Cricket Competition. ASDA are proud to be entering their seventh year of sponsorship of the National Kwik Cricket competition.Visit www.asda.com/kwikcricket

Bumble at the Fourth Test: Toss is on the money

Bumble at the Fourth Test: Toss is on the money – for once

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UPDATED:

22:22 GMT, 10 June 2012

TV interviews at the toss can be routine affairs but we had a gem here when the Test eventually started and Darren Sammy was summoned to the microphone. ‘Why isn’t Shiv Chanderpaul playing, Darren ‘He’s had an unfortunate incident.’ ‘What have you been doing in all the rain’ ‘Playing dominoes!’ Beats PlayStation!

Getting it right: West Indies captain Darren Sammy's interview after the toss was more entertaining than normal

Getting it right: West Indies captain Darren Sammy's interview after the toss was more entertaining than normal

Sledge Champion

Marlon Samuels has not only scored lots of runs but he has kept us entertained with his constant chatter. When he was asked why he sledged Graham Onions, he said: ‘I don’t like Onions with my food.’ Samuels, then added: ‘Why isn’t Anderson playing I like batting against him…’

Bring The Ashes here!

Why, oh why, are we not playing an Ashes Test here at Edgbaston next year It’s a fortress for England, it has a high capacity, a brilliant pitch and a superb new pavilion. I bet if you asked the England players they would all say they wish they were playing the Aussies here. I’m going to write to my MP about it.

Bring the Aussies here: England have a good record at Edgbaston

Bring the Aussies here: England have a good record at Edgbaston

An ugly century

However great that West Indies last wicket stand was, the reaction of Denesh Ramdin to his hundred was poor. Commentators are paid for opinions and the majority of them are along the lines of ‘what a great innings that was.’ I know emotions run high but the best way to react to criticism is to score runs and take wickets.

Best bar naan

Never change a winning formula and that applies to our choice of Indian here, Blue Mango, where we have eaten four nights running. It’s better than last year when, even though there are more curry houses in Birmingham than you can poke a stick at, our Sportsmail colleague Martin Samuel recommended one near Wolverhampton… then didn’t turn up!

Tino's a showman

What entertainment Tino Best provided! Throughout his innings you could hear Best saying on the stump mic: ‘Graeme Swann cannot get me out!’ And he didn’t. ‘Mind the windows, Tino,’ would have become ‘Mind the honours board, Tino’ with just five more runs.

A true entertainer: It was Tino Best's day with the bat and the ball

A true entertainer: It was Tino Best's day with the bat and the ball

Right to rest the key men

Lots of murmurings about England’s rotation policy when Tino Best and Denesh Ramdin were racking up the runs but for me that doesn’t change anything. People were saying ‘what if Anderson had been bowling’ or ‘what if Broad had been there’ but we don’t know it would have been any different. Players are being rested to keep them fresh for the summer and to extend their careers.

Graham Onions takes three wickets on return to Test cricket as West Indies frustrate England

Onions pick of the bunch but off-colour England left to rue dropped catches

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UPDATED:

19:00 GMT, 9 June 2012

England's understudy pace attack grafted for their deserved wickets as the third Investec Test finally got under way on day three against West Indies at Edgbaston.

Following two washouts, Andrew Strauss unsurprisingly chose to bowl under cloudy skies and unleash Graham Onions (three wickets for 56 runs), Tim Bresnan (three for 74) and Steven Finn.

But thanks in part to faulty catching in the slips, plenty of runs edged between them too, and the doughty Marlon Samuels (76), England's rewards were hard-earned as the tourists closed what was effectively day one of three on 280 for eight.

Pick of the bunch: Graham Onions took three wickets on his return to Test cricket

Pick of the bunch: Graham Onions took three wickets on his return to Test cricket

ENGLAND v WINDIES: THIRD TEST

Click here to view the match scorecard

Samuels' 114-ball stay contained 10
fours and a six and continued a rich vein of form which had already
brought him successive scores of 31, 86, 117 and 76 not out.

England rested Stuart Broad, meaning
both their first-choice new-ball bowlers were absent here after James
Anderson was left out of a 12-man squad last weekend.

The Windies made four changes to the
team which lost at Trent Bridge, to go 2-0 down with just this match to
play, and crucially were minus lynchpin batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul
because of a side strain.

Crucial: Ian Bell is mortified after dropping Adrian Barath early in the day

Crucial: Ian Bell is mortified after dropping Adrian Barath early in the day

But if that made them look more
vulnerable than ever, they soon proved in no mood to play the pushovers
as they got to within one run of something they had previously fallen
well short of in this series – a 50 opening stand.

England's seamers operated mostly at a full length from the outset, preferring to seek out swing rather than bounce.

Adrian Barath had made just four when
Onions, back in Test cricket for the first time since January 2010 after
his career-threatening injury, should have been in the wickets column
in just his second over.

Instead, Ian Bell – in at third slip for this match in place of Anderson – missed a straightforward chance.

Hitting peak form: Marlon Samuels played a majestic innings, hitting Graeme Swann for six on his way to 76

Hitting peak form: Marlon Samuels played a majestic innings, hitting Graeme Swann for six on his way to 76

Onions' hopes of his comeback wicket
were duly raised and dashed again when Barath left another straight one
and was hit on the pad. The lbw appeal was turned down by Tony Hill, and
England lost a review too into the bargain.

Barath continued to ride his luck, but
Kieran Powell's ran out at the start of Bresnan's second spell when he
edged to second slip – where Graeme Swann just managed to cling on this
time.

Barath, joined by debutant Assad
Fudadin, greeted the introduction of Swann's off-spin with a flat-batted
drive for six from the crease over long-on.

Holding on: Andrew Strauss holds on at first slip as Narsingh Deonarine departs

Holding on: Andrew Strauss holds on at first slip as Narsingh Deonarine departs

Finn had reason, straight after lunch, to rue Bell's frailties in the slips – Barath escaping again on 40.

But the second drop was not costly.

Barath soon went, and Onions at last
had his 29th Test wicket, lbw after a failed review from the batsman of a
delivery which simulation suggested would have hit the outside of
leg-stump.

Darren Bravo went cheaply, and in
puzzling circumstances, when he pushed a routine forward-defensive shot
back into Finn's hands for caught-and-bowled.

Fudadin dug in but had just spent 28
balls over his 28th run when Bresnan decided it was time to test him out
with the short ball, a change of tactic which worked almost immediately
as the left-hander got in a tangle and looped an edge which Bell simply
could not miss.

Dismissed: Tim Bresnan celebrates after Assad Fudadin is caught by Ian Bell

Dismissed: Tim Bresnan celebrates after Assad Fudadin is caught by Ian Bell

/06/09/article-0-13872375000005DC-238_634x404.jpg” width=”634″ height=”404″ alt=”Joining the party: Steven Finn is on his knees after catching Darren Bravo, leaving the West Indies on 99-3″ class=”blkBorder” />

Joining the party: Steven Finn is on his knees after catching Darren Bravo, leaving the West Indies on 99-3

He looked in good shape to turn it
into a second hundred of the series too, in a stand of 56 with Denesh
Ramdin (60 not out), until Bresnan administered what looked a killer
blow by having the Windies mainstay lbw pushing forward on off-stump in
the last over with the old ball.

Bresnan was immediately relieved of
his duties, after his successful two-over spell, to allow Finn and
Onions to attack the tail.

Back to the pavilion: Adrian Barath was Graham Onions's first wicket

Back to the pavilion: Adrian Barath was Graham Onions's first wicket

The former had Darren Sammy dropped by
Strauss on 14. But once again the missed slip chance was not
significant, because the Windies captain had made just two more runs
when he was dismissed in near action-reply.

Before stumps, there was time for
Onions to have Sunil Narine chopping on and Ramdin to complete an
increasingly assured 97-ball half-century.

Up and running: Tim Bresnan struck first, dismissing Adrian Barath for 24

Up and running: Tim Bresnan struck first, dismissing Adrian Barath for 24

James Anderson is OUT of England squad for third Test but insists he"s fit to play

Exclusive: Anderson is OUT of England squad for third Test but insists he's fit to play

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UPDATED:

21:09 GMT, 2 June 2012

Jimmy Anderson admitted that it will be ‘extremely disappointing’ for him if he is left out of England’s squad for the third Test against West Indies, starting at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Anderson was bombarded yesterday by speculation that England had already made the decision to omit the leader of their pace attack from the final Test as they seek to manage the workload of their first-choice fast bowlers.

Stuart Broad’s omission from the final XI has also been mooted, with Steven Finn and Graham Onions in contention to resume their Test careers.

Anderson, who stresses that the thigh niggle he has been feeling is not enough to rule him out of selection, broadly agrees with rotating bowlers to prolong their careers.

In form: Jimmy Anderson has taken nine wickets so far against the West Indies

In form: Jimmy Anderson has taken nine wickets so far against the West Indies

But he added: ‘It would be extremely disappointing for me to miss out. It would be different if I felt fatigued or was struggling with an injury. But I believe I am fit to play — and while I am fit to play I want to play in every England game I can.’

The 29-year-old has taken nine wickets in the two Test victories against West Indies this summer and now stands at fifth on the list of England’s all-time wicket-takers.

If reports of his omission prove correct when the squad is announced, it will be seen as clear evidence that coach Andy Flower intends to do everything in his power to keep his best bowlers fit and fresh for the upcoming showdown with world No 2 South Africa, not to mention the one-day action against West Indies and Australia in between.

But resting Anderson would deny him the chance of more Test wickets and to finish another series win when he is in the form of his career. And he is concerned that this is a team you leave at your peril, and never voluntarily.

‘Resting players is going to happen more and more often as the schedule gets busier and the ECB has been excellent at monitoring players to keep them fit and ready,’ said the Lancashire paceman.

Pace aces: Anderson (third right) and Stuart Broad (third left) could both be rested at Edgbaston

Pace aces: Anderson (third right) and Stuart Broad (third left) could both be rested at Edgbaston

‘Sure, this series has been hard work — back-to-back Tests always are; that’s what we are used to and have to deal with the world over. But five days of rest is more than enough to be ready to play again.

‘Nobody would volunteer to be left out of this side. Who knows what may happen in the future with injury or loss of form This is a great team to be involved with. I think it would be hard to take if I was rested and then found I had lost my place.

‘I missed the 2010 tour to Bangladesh and, while I didn’t particularly like the experience, I understood why. There are no guarantees, nor should there be.

‘This winter, I was rested for the one-day series in India, Steve Finn bowled out of his skin and kept his place for the one-dayers in Dubai. Had Tim Bresnan not been injured for those, would I have got my place back I love playing for England, it’s the reason I grew up wanting to play cricket.

‘Test cricket is the ultimate challenge and no one would voluntarily give that privilege away. I don’t want to miss a single Test if I can help it.’

After the final Test against West Indies, England hit a rash of T20 and ODIs, and Anderson’s only chance to play any County Championship cricket before the first Test against South Africa at The Oval from July 19 would be against Surrey at Guildford, starting on July 11, the day after England’s final ODI against Australia at Old Trafford.