Atkinson's brilliant seven runs helped West Indies collapse to 121

Atkinson's brilliant seven runs helped West Indies collapse to 121


Gus Atkinson of England holds the ball up after taking 7 for 45 on day one of the first Test match between England and West Indies at Lord's Cricket Ground on July 10, 2024 in London, England.

Gus Atkinson of England holds the ball up after taking 7 for 45 on day one of the first Test match between England and West Indies at Lord's Cricket Ground on July 10, 2024. | Photo Credit: Getty Images

England debutant Gus Atkinson took seven wickets in a performance reminiscent of James Anderson's farewell match as the West Indies were bundled out for 121 on the first day of the first Test at Lord's on Wednesday.

Preparations for the three-match series were centred around the final appearance in a five-day match by England great Anderson, who has taken a record 701 wickets in his Test career – the most by any fast bowler at this level.

But Surrey pacer Atkinson stole the limelight with 7 for 45 from 12 overs – including three wickets in a single over.

Anderson, in contrast, did not add to his Test wicket tally until he dismissed last man Jayden Seales LBW to end the West Indies innings.

West Indies debutant Michael Lewis top-scored with 27 as the visitors were bowled out inside 42 overs.

In reply, England were 30/1 at tea time after Ben Duckett was caught behind off Seales for three.

Having played just one practice match, and with inexperienced top-order batsmen Kirk McKenzie, Alick Athanase and Kavem Hodge having played only nine matches before this Test, it was no surprise that the West Indies struggled after losing the toss amid overcast conditions.

West Indies were 88/3 when Atkinson, who had already taken two wickets before lunch, came in to bowl the 35th over.

On the second ball of the over, he had Athanas caught by Joe Root at slip for 23 runs.

Atkinson bowled a superb delivery next, which Jason Holder, returning to Test cricket after almost a year, could only edge to Harry Brooke at the edge.

Anderson was overshadowed by

Joshua Da Silva survived a hat-trick but was also out for a duck off the next ball, the ball turning inside and being caught by wicketkeeper Jamie Smith, who was playing his first Test match along with Surrey teammate Atkinson.

Atkinson took three wickets for no runs in four balls, which were his final figures, when he dismissed Alzari Joseph and Shamar Joseph, the second-best performance by an England bowler on Test debut after Dominic Cork, who took 7–43 against the West Indies at Lord's in 1995.

Earlier, Anderson had to get into the action straightaway after England skipper Ben Stokes won the toss and decided to field.

But despite conceding 11 runs in five overs with the new ball, 41-year-old Anderson was unable to dismiss West Indies captain Craig Brathwaite or fellow opener Lewis.

At the other end, Chris Woakes was dismissed for a legside six by the 23-year-old Lewis, the first West Indies Test cricketer to play for St Kitts.

West Indies were hoping for a significant score from Brathwaite, who was playing in his 90th Test match.

But he was dismissed for just two when Atkinson hit his stumps with only his second ball in Test cricket.

Lewis's 58-ball innings ended shortly before lunch when Brook took a brilliant catch at third slip off Stokes.

The plight of West Indies came to light when Hodge was dismissed for 24 runs. Ollie Pope took a brilliant catch at point off Woakes. The batsman fell to his knees in disbelief.


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