On this day in 2009: Graham Onions has a debut to remember

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Graham Onions made a splash on his England debut at Lord’s, taking five West Indian wickets on this day in 2009.

The Durham seamer had waited his turn to get a taste of international cricket, first called up to the ODI squad three years earlier but failing to take the field despite being named in a provisional 30-man squad for the Champions Trophy.

Selected ahead of county team-mate Steve Harmison for the first Test of the summer, with the selectors favouring his nuance and reliability over his colleague’s pace and experience, Onions had to wait his turn to get his hands on the ball.

England racked up 377 batting first, with Onions bowled for a golden duck at number 11 to close the innings. He then saw his opening delivery drop short and disappear for four.

But if there were any doubts about his ability to rise to the challenge, he answered them in a hurry.


Onions’ sixth over for England was an unforgettable one, as he prised out Lendl Simmons, Jerome Taylor and Sulieman Benn in the space of six deliveries. He made it four scalps in seven balls when he returned to take out Denesh Ramdin and secured his place on the ground’s famous honours board when he pinned Lionel Baker lbw.

Onions walked off with figures of five for 38, with the ground laid for a 10-wicket victory.

“I’ve have to pinch myself a few times. To get five wickets really is a dream come true,” he said at the close of play. “I think today I can give myself a pat on the back – and I’m very proud of what I’ve done.”

Onions was an Ashes winner later that summer but played only 13 Tests after struggling with injuries. He retired from first-class cricket in 2018 with 723 wickets to his name.

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