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Monday July 22, 2024

Atkinson’s magnificent seven scuppers West Indies for 121

By AFP
July 11, 2024
Englands Gus Atkinson celebrates the dismissal of West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite during opening day of the first Test Match at the Lords Cricket Ground, London on July 10, 2024. — AFP
England's Gus Atkinson celebrates the dismissal of West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite during opening day of the first Test Match at the Lord's Cricket Ground, London on July 10, 2024. — AFP

LONDON: England debutant Gus Atkinson upstaged James Anderson’s farewell by taking a sensational seven wickets as the West Indies collapsed to 121 all out on Wednesday’s opening day of the first Test at Lord’s.

The build-up to the three-match series had centred on England great Anderson’s last appearance in the five-day game following a record-breaking Test career that has yielded 701 wickets -- the most by any fast bowler at that level.

But Surrey quick Atkinson stole the spotlight with a remarkable haul of 7-45 in 12 overs -- including three wickets in just one over. Anderson, by contrast, did not add to his tally of Test wickets until he had last man Jayden Seales lbw to end the West Indies innings. West Indies debutant Mikyle Louis top-scored with 27 as the tourists were dismissed inside 42 overs.

England were 30-1 in reply at tea after Ben Duckett was caught behind off Seales for three. West Indies were 88-3 when Atkinson, who had already taken two wickets before lunch, came on to bowl the 35th over. With his second ball of the over he had Alick Athanaze caught by Joe Root in the slips for 23.

Atkinson produced a superb delivery with the next ball that Jason Holder, returning to Test cricket after nearly a year’s absence, edged to Harry Brook in the cordon. Joshua Da Silva survived the hat-trick but next ball he too fell for a duck, an inside edge caught by wicketkeeper Jamie Smith.

Atkinson also accounted for Alzarri Joseph and Shamar Joseph. Earlier, Kraig Brathwaite chopped onto his stumps as Atkinson struck with only his second ball in Test cricket. Louis’ innings ended shortly before lunch when he fell to a brilliant low catch by the diving Brook at third slip off Stokes. Kavem Hodge fell for 24.