England rewards are hard-earned
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.
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's seamers operated mostly at a full length from the outset, preferring to seek out swing rather than bounce.
Ian Bell dropped Adrian Barath before fellow opener Kieran Powell edged Tim Bresnan to second slip - where Graeme Swann just managed to cling on this time. Bell let Barath off the hook once more but he soon went, and Onions at last had his 29th Test wicket, lbw after a failed review from the batsman.
Darren Bravo then went cheaply when he pushed a routine forward-defensive shot back into Finn's hands for caught-and-bowled. Assad Fudadin dug in but Bresnan decided it was time to test him out with the short ball, a change of tactic which worked as the left-hander got in a tangle and looped an edge which Bell simply could not miss.
A fine spell from Onions culminated in the wicket of Narsingh Deonarine - edging to slip, where Strauss took a neat catch before Samuels reached his fourth successive 50 just before tea.
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.
Steven Finn 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.