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Gus Atkinson announces himself on international stage with seven-wicket haul on England debut

Gus Atkinson recorded the second best bowling figures of an England Test debutant after claiming 7-45 in a dream start at Lord's.

England v West Indies

Atkinson was one of two players handed their first Test start with his county teammate Jamie Smith also selected by Brendon McCullum at wicketkeeper.

With all eyes on James Anderson in his farewell appearance, the Surrey quick stole the limelight by taking seven wickets on his England debut, which included three in four deliveries.

Atkinson was the architect as the West Indies collapsed from 88-3 to 121 all out, with his second spell in the afternoon session decimating the Windies middle order.

Atkinson was called into action in the 10th over and struck gold with his second ball as a Test cricketer. He was aided by a poor shot from Kraigg Brathwaite but nevertheless, Atkinson's England career had began in the most delightful fashion with a wicket maiden.

Another maiden followed before Atkinson was wheeling away in celebration once more as Kirk McKenzie was caught in the slips by Zak Crawley.

20 runs were conceded before his next scalp and Atkinson was assisted by an excellent low catch from Joe Root. A hat-trick beckoned for the 26-year-old when Harry Brook gratefully grasped the ball in the slip cordon to dismiss Jason Holder for a duck.

Unfortunately the hat-trick didn't materialise, but Atkinson did muster three wickets in four deliveries when Joshua Da Silva inside-edged through to wicketkeeper Smith.

His remarkable figures were briefly dented when Alzarri Joseph hit for boundaries in five deliveries to accumulate 16 runs in one over. Atkinson soon had the last laugh when Joseph's lofted drive was short of the boundary and Chris Woakes watched the ball all the way into his palms.

And Atkinson claimed his seventh courtesy of a bizarre dismissal for Shamar Joseph, who lost his footing with a desperate swipe and Ollie Pope was present to settle underneath it.

As England Test debuts go, there are very few better - just one in fact. His figures were narrowly shy of being the best of any England bowler on their first Test appearance, behind only Dominic Cork, who coincidentally also made his Test debut against the West Indies at Lord's.

Best figures in an innings on England Test debut

  1. Dominic Cork 7-43 v West Indies (1995)
  2. Gus Atkinson 7-45 v West Indies (2024)
  3. John Lever 7-46 v India (1976)
  4. Alec Bedser 7-49 v India (1946)
  5. James Langridge 7-56 v West Indies (1933)
  6. Tom Hartley 7-62 v India (2024)
  7. Jim Laker 7-103 v West Indies (1948)
  8. Richard Johnson 6-33 v Zimbabwe (2003)
  9. James Kirtley 6-34 v South Africa (2003)
  10. George Simpson-Hayward 6-43 v South Africa (1910)

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