WATCH : Atkinson steamrolls his way to debut fifer with three-wicket over

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West Indies showed good resolve at the start of their three-match Test series in England, reaching an opening stand of 34 runs. However, their hopes quickly dwindled as they collapsed to 88/7 shortly after lunch.

Debutant right-arm quick Gus Atkinson initiated the Windies’ downfall with the wickets of Kraigg Brathwaite and Kirk McKenzie in his opening spell, but it was his performance the second time around that truly electrified Lord’s and the English team.

Having conceded two boundaries and a maximum in his first three overs of the second session, Atkinson returned to bowl the 15th over. On his second delivery, he took the crucial wicket of Alick Athanaze with a length ball that hurried off the pitch, catching the outside edge and landing in Joe Root’s hands at first slip.

Jason Holder, batting at a career-high number six, was next and faced a cross-seam delivery angled towards his pads. A weak flick attempt resulted in another edge, with Harry Brook ensuring Atkinson’s tally reached four. Wicket-keeper Joshua da Silva survived the 146 km/h hat-trick delivery but was undone by the next ball, which decked in sharply off the pitch to take the inside edge and settle into Jamie Smith’s gloves.

Ecstatic with his performance, Atkinson celebrated with arms spread wide, inviting skipper Ben Stokes to join him in a hug. The rest of the team followed, mobbing the Surrey pacer. Cameras captured a proud James Anderson beaming while Atkinson showcased the red cherry to the crowd, triggering a flurry of reactions on social media.

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