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England v West Indies: Gus Atkinson takes seven wickets on debut at Lord’s as James Anderson starts final Test | Cricket News

Gus Atkinson took seven wickets on his debut for England as he made headlines after James Anderson retired on the first day of the Lord’s Test, bowling out the West Indies for 121.

The series opener will be Anderson’s 188th and final Test appearance for England. The board are keen to focus on building a squad capable of winning The Ashes in Australia in the winter of 2025-26. Based on this early evidence, Atkinson could be a key part of that squad.

The shy 41-year-old Anderson was given a warm welcome by Lord’s fans ahead of Wednesday’s match. He took five wickets on debut against Zimbabwe in 2003.

Score summary – England v West Indies

West Indies were all out for 121 in 41.4 overs: Gus Atkinson (7-45), Ben Stokes (1-14), James Anderson (1-26); Mikyle Louis (27), Kavem Hodge (24)

England 189-3 after 40 overs: Zak Crawley (76), Ollie Pope (57), Harry Brook (size 25); Jayden Seales (2-31), Jason Holder (1-38)

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Watch Atkinson’s seven-wicket haul at Lord’s as West Indies’ innings lasted just 41.4 overs

However, he was overshadowed by Surrey fast bowler Atkinson (7-45) as the new boy became the eighth England bowler to take seven wickets on Test debut and second after spinner Tom Hartley achieved the feat against India in Hyderabad in January this year.

England finished 68 runs clear at 189-3, with a 94-run second-wicket partnership shared by Ollie Pope (57) and Zak Crawley (76), but were briefly stalled by poor light in the final session before the evening ended with glorious sunshine also forecast for the second day.

Earlier, Atkinson struck with his second ball off West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite (6) and took three wickets in four balls in the 35th over, including a golden duck shot off Jason Holder, as the tourists lost four wickets without conceding at 88-3.

Gus Atkinson
Picture:
Atkinson’s figures are the third best ever by a player on his Test debut for England

Anderson took the final wicket of the innings by pinning Jayden Seales (2) lbw – his first in the match and the 701st of his Test career – and triggered a huge roar at Lord’s.

But the day belonged to Atkinson, who showed there would be life after Anderson as he dismantled West Indies’ rather inexperienced batting line-up, with Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum’s men preparing for Ashes duty in 16 months’ time.

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Lord’s crowd erupts as James Anderson takes first Test wicket and 701st of his England career

Atkinson ecstatic as West Indies collapse

Atkinson’s pace and hostility could prove crucial in Australia and in England he was much better than the West Indies could cope with in overcast conditions on a slow pitch. After coming on in the 11th over, his attacks were rewarded with his accurate lines and wobbly seam variations.

Atkinson, after bowling a Brathwaite inbounds from the inside edge, caught Kyle McKenzie (1) attempting a similar shot in his third over and went into lunch with figures of 2-2 in five overs, not scoring until his fourth over, four of which were maidens.

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Sky Sports’ Nasser Hussain and Stuart Broad look at Atkinson’s dream debut and the talent he’s shown

West Indies, who top-scored with 27 runs after Mikyle Louis’ stunning one-handed catch by Stokes’ Harry Brook, continued the game before and after lunch with a 44-run partnership between Kavem Hodge (24) and Alick Athanaze (23) for 44-3.

Atkinson broke that partnership when he snared Athanaze and then there was carnage when Holder dropped the ball on the next serve.

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Atkinson took three wickets in four balls with Alick Athanaze out for 23 and Jason Holder and Joshua Da Silva dismissed for ducking

Joshua Da Silva fell for a blob two balls after that, edging behind Atkinson’s Surrey team-mate and England debutant Jamie Smith – Smith had been chosen as wicket-keeper ahead of Surrey regular Ben Foakes and Test player Jonny Bairstow, mainly because of his batting prowess.

West Indies lost the fourth wicket in eight balls when Pope’s hard catch towards the back over dismissed Hodge and handed Chris Woakes his 150th Test debut in his first match in that format since being named Player of the Ashes last summer.

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Harry Brook and Ollie Pope took some spectacular catches at Lord’s – but which do you think was the best?

Alzarri Joseph (17 off 9) made a tentative counter-strike for West Indies, whipping and hoisting Atkinson for four magnificent boundaries in the 37th over, before he and namesake Shamar Joseph (0) swept past Atkinson in the 39th over to leave the tourists 106-9.

England in charge of Lord’s Test as series begins

At that point, Atkinson was aiming to become the first England player to take eight wickets on Test debut but that hope ended when Anderson trapped Seales leg before finishing the innings in 41.4 overs.

Anderson was given the first over of the day but both he and Woakes fell a little short in the first half hour. Louis (the first St. Kitts player to play Test cricket for the West Indies) and Brathwaite played diligent strokes and Louis hit Woakes for a six.

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Mikyle Louis, who became the first St Kitts man to play Test cricket for the West Indies, hits a six off Chris Woakes at Lord’s

There weren’t many batting chances for Anderson and Woakes but that changed with the introduction of Atkinson and Stokes (the latter now believing he can perform all-round duties again following a successful knee operation) and Stokes bowled a full eight overs before lunch.

West Indies’ quality fast-attacks – Holder, Seales and Josephs – also found some movement, with Seales forcing Ben Duckett (3) behind, but Crawley and the occasionally frenetic Pope batted proactively as England pushed past the tourists’ tiny total.

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Ollie Pope and Zak Crawley exit after hitting fifties on first day of Lord’s Test

Pope, with encouragement from Crawley, successfully converted Holder’s lbw shot in the 33rd minute, the ball should have hit leg stump but was eventually blocked by the same bowler.

Crawley was cut through the legs by a wonderful serve from Seales – England’s opener has failed to convert his last six Test fifties into triple figures – while Harry Brook (25 points) and Joe Root (15 points) were the unbeaten batsmen.

Watch day two of the first Test between England and West Indies live at Lord’s Sky Sports Cricket From 10.15am on Thursday.

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