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ENG vs WI 1st Test: Debutant Gus Atkinson overshadows James Anderson in the legend’s last hurrah on Day 1

ENG vs WI 1st Test: Debutant Gus Atkinson overshadows James Anderson in the legend’s last hurrah on Day 1

England have began their home season with a solid performance on Day 1 of the first Test against the West Indies.

After all the glitz and glamor of T20 cricket, we finally witnessed sport’s favorite format, i.e., Test cricket. England are hosting the West Indies for a three-match Test series, with the first at Lord’s also being legendary pacer James Anderson’s final appearance in the whites.

Unsurprisingly, the Three Lions completely dominated the proceedings as they are on a 68-run lead with seven wickets in hand after the Day 1.

A bright start but quick collapse

The opening Test at Mecca of cricket saw a dramatic shift in momentum. England, who elected to field first, started slowly but clawed their way back into the game.

West Indies openers, Kraigg Brathwaite and debutant Mikyle Louis, began brightly. Louis impressed with some strong strokes, including a six and three fours. However, the tide turned in the second half of the first session. Debutant fast bowler Gus Atkinson struck twice in quick succession, dismissing both Brathwaite and Louis. England tightened their fielding, making run-scoring difficult for the visitors. West Indies limped to lunch at 61/3, losing the early initiative.

What a day for Gus Atkinson!

The second session belonged entirely to England. Gus Atkinson emerged as the hero, taking a phenomenal seven wickets on his Test debut. He picked up three wickets in a single over, exposing the West Indies’ vulnerable middle order. Alick Athanaze, Jason Holder, and Joshua da Silva all fell victim to his impregnable swing bowling. Chris Woakes picked up another wicket, dismissing Kavem Hodge. West Indies were bundled out for a mere 121 runs thanks to Atkinson’s fiery spell. It was fitting, however, for James Anderson to take the final scalp in the first innings of his retirement Test.

Zak Crawly & Ollie Pope starred with the bat

England started their reply cautiously, losing Ben Duckett towards the end of the session. With plenty of time remaining in the day, Zak Crawly and Ollie Pope looked to build a strong partnership and capitalized on their dominant bowling performance. In fact, the two right-handers were involved in a 94-run partnership for the second wicket. Both Crawly and Pope got to their respective fifties before Jason Holder plucked back the latter. Jaydon Seales then also castled Crawly with a wondrous yorker.

While bad lighting interrupted the flow after the Tea break, England continued to pile up runs and are in the ascendency with already a first-innings lead of 68 runs. While Joe Root looked solid as ever, Harry Brook was quite positive from the outset. They are currently batting on 15* and 25* and would be eager to convert their starts on Day 2.

Brief Scores: England 189/3 (Zak Crawly 76, Gus Atkinson 7/45) lead by 68 runs against the West Indies 121/10 (Mikyle Louis 27, Jayden Seales 2/31)

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