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1st Test: England 189/3 at stumps on Day 1 after debutant Gus Atkinson demolished West Indies at Lord's

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Gus Atkinson , making his Test debut for England, overshadowed the farewell of the legendary James Anderson by claiming an astonishing seven wickets as the West Indies were skittled out for a mere 121 runs on the first day at Lord's on Wednesday.

England capitalized on their strong position, reaching 189 for 3 at the close of play, establishing a lead of 68 runs. Zak Crawley (76) and Ollie Pope (57) both contributed well-crafted half-centuries.





Crawley appeared to be on track for a century before Seales bowled him with a rapid leg-stump yorker, bringing his spectacular 89-ball innings, which included 14 fours, to an end.

Prior to the start of this three-match series, the focus had been on Anderson's final international match, following a record-breaking Test career that has now yielded 701 wickets -- the most by any fast bowler at this level. However, it was the 26-year-old Atkinson who stole the limelight with his remarkable figures of 7 for 45 in 12 overs, which included a triple wicket-maiden.



Atkinson's final figures, after dismissing Alzarri Joseph and Shamar Joseph, were the second best by an England bowler on a Test debut behind Dominic Cork's 7 for 43 against the West Indies at Lord's in 1995. In contrast, Anderson had to wait until the last wicket to add to his tally of Test wickets, trapping Jayden Seales lbw to conclude the West Indies innings.

West Indies debutant Mikyle Louis, the first Test cricketer from St Kitts, was the top-scorer with 27 in an innings where only three batsmen reached the 20s.

The West Indies, having played just one warm-up match and with inexperienced top-order batsmen Kirk McKenzie, Alick Athanaze and Kavem Hodge holding only nine caps between them before this Test, predictably struggled after losing the toss in overcast conditions.



They were 88 for 3 when Atkinson, who had already claimed two wickets before lunch, came on to bowl the 35th over.

With his second ball of the over, he had Athanaze caught by Joe Root in the slips for 23.

Atkinson bowled with precision and accuracy, maintaining a challenging line and length. His next delivery was a superb one that former West Indies captain Holder, returning to Test cricket after nearly a year, edged to Harry Brook in the cordon.

Joshua Da Silva managed to survive the hat-trick ball, but on the very next delivery, he too fell for a duck. An inside edge was caught by the opposing wicketkeeper Jamie Smith, who, along with his Surrey teammate Atkinson, was also making his Test debut.



With three wickets in four balls without conceding a run, Atkinson secured his place on the Lord's honours board for a five-wicket haul in a Test match.

Earlier in the day, when England captain Ben Stokes chose to field after winning the toss, a decision met with huge cheers from the crowd at the 'Home of Cricket', Anderson was immediately in the thick of the action. Despite bowling a probing new-ball spell of five overs for 11 runs, the 41-year-old was unable to dismiss either West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite or fellow opener Louis.

The West Indies were relying on Brathwaite, playing in his 90th Test, to make a substantial score. However, he was out for two, chopping the ball onto his stumps, as Atkinson struck with only his second delivery of the day.



Louis's promising 58-ball innings came to an end when the 23-year-old was caught by a brilliant low catch by the diving Harry Brook at third slip off Stokes.

The West Indies' predicament was epitomized when Hodge, after a fierce square cut off Chris Woakes, was well caught by Pope at point for 24, leaving the batsman sinking to his knees in disbelief.
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