Gus Atkinson takes two wickets in first session of James Anderson’s final Test

Gus Atkinson

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England's new player Gus Atkinson took the spotlight on the first day of James Anderson's final Test match. Atkinson made two breakthroughs as the West Indies reached a score of 61 runs for the loss of three wickets in the first session at Lord's.

Gus Atkinson - Figure 1
Photo The Independent

The event was mainly focused on honoring England's top wicket-taker as he prepares to retire. Anderson's daughters, Ruby and Lola, had the special task of ringing the bell for five minutes. Videos showcasing his greatest achievements were shown on the large screen before the start of the game, and fans were able to purchase commemorative items celebrating his impressive 22-year career at the club store.

Captain Ben Stokes did his job by winning the coin toss and choosing to bowl first on a gloomy day, but unfortunately, Anderson couldn't deliver the breakthrough that the packed crowd was hoping for.

Instead, it was up to newcomer Atkinson to show a preview of England's upcoming talent. After 10 overs without any wickets from Anderson and Chris Woakes, the new player from Surrey made an impact with his second ball in Test cricket. Kraigg Brathwaite made a mistake and chopped a simple delivery into his own stumps.

The 26-year-old player was handed his cap by Anderson during the team meeting and took over his position at the Pavilion End. He quickly reached a speed of 90mph and soon earned his second achievement.

Gus Atkinson - Figure 2
Photo The Independent

This time, Atkinson took a classic wicket by tricking Kirk McKenzie into making a shot that resulted in a thick edge caught by Zak Crawley at slip. It was an impressive debut for Atkinson at the highest level, taking two wickets and delivering three straight maidens.

He gave up his first run in the beginning of his fourth over, but by that time he had already made a memorable first impression and ended with figures of 5-4-2-2.

Stokes entered the game at the Nursery End, prepared to return as the fourth seamer after undergoing knee surgery in the winter. The captain quickly started scoring runs.

Opener Mikyle Louis batted for 58 balls in his first Test innings, hitting four boundaries to score 27 runs. However, he struggled to make solid contact with the ball when facing Stokes and eventually got out after nicking one.

He could have escaped without being caught, but Harry Brook had different intentions. He dove to make a spectacular catch with one hand just above the ground.

Stokes was amazed, remembering how Stuart Broad's meme-worthy reaction to his catch in the 2015 Ashes left him speechless.

Anderson came back to bowl again before lunch, but was unable to take the wicket he was hoping for. His best chance came when Kavem Hodge got an inside edge past the leg stump, ending Anderson's spell with a record of zero wickets for 20 runs.

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