Onions on form as Durham held
Durham had to settle for a draw against Yorkshire after their victory bid was held up by a 35-minute shower at Chester-le-Street.
Yorkshire had just lost their fifth wicket and there were 33 overs left when the rain came, but nine overs were lost and so was the home side’s momentum.
Yorkshire eventually closed on 193 for seven after being set a target of 394 to win.
Five of the wickets went to Onions, including that of Michael Vaughan, who faced 96 balls for 20 as Yorkshire concentrated on survival.
Resuming on three without loss, they lost Jacques Rudolph in the 14th over when Onions nipped one into the left-hander to trim his off bail.
Onions then twice beat Vaughan before he was off the mark.
The placid pitch offered little to Steve Harmison and although he twice found the edge of Joe Sayers’ bat the ball failed to carry to the slips.
After Harmison’s first innings dismissal of Vaughan, the ex-England captain survived round two with few alarms, but suppressing his positive instincts for the good of the team did him no favours.
Yorkshire were 60 for one from 35 overs at lunch, with Vaughan on 16. He finally lost patience and followed an away swinger from Onions, the thick edge allowing Phil Mustard to take a one-handed catch diving to his right.
The Mustard and Onions combination had also struck in the bowler’s previous over when an excellent ball saw off Sayers for 30, made from 112 balls.
When Vaughan followed the door was ajar for Durham. Andrew Gale, not one to dig in, survived a couple of skied pulls before wafting wide of off stump and edging Liam Plunkett to Gordon Muchall at first slip.
Onions returned after tea to have Anthony McGrath brilliantly caught by Michael Di Venuto low to his left at second slip, but that was immediately followed by the rain break.
There were 24 overs left on the resumption and in the eighth of those Gerard Brophy hooked Harmison straight to Onions on the backward square leg boundary.
With 10 overs left Onions was recalled. He had already bowled 25 overs but struck with his third ball when Tim Bresnan edged a drive to Mustard.
Onions’ last five-wicket haul was also at home to Yorkshire in the third match of last season.
He finished with 5-56 from 28 overs today on a pitch which offered no encouragement as the champions were denied a winning start.