Atkinson upstages Anderson farewell with 7-45 on debut

The stage was set for James Anderson, but the scene was stolen by Gus Atkinson. 

Anderson, making his 187th and final Test appearance, received a huge ovation from a packed Lord's, then opened the bowling against a callow West Indies batting line-up put in to bat under overcast skies in the first Test.

But the veteran, needing nine wickets to surpass Shane Warne on the all-time Test list, went wicketless in that opening five-over spell, then saw the rookie, who replaced him at the Pavilion End, take a wicket with his second ball in Test cricket.

Atkinson went on to take 7-45 as West Indies were bowled out for 121. England reached 3-189 at the close, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope making half-centuries as they established a first-day lead of 68.

When the West Indies were nine down, with Atkinson bowling, the seamer was one wicket from securing the best figures by any Test debutant. But a couple of boundaries meant Albert Trott's 8-43 for Australia against England in Adelaide in 1895 remains supreme. Indeed, so does Dominic Cork's England-best 7-43 against the West Indies at Lord's a century later.

James Anderson
A relieved James Anderson is congratulated after finally getting on the scoresheet at Lord's.

Instead it was Anderson who claimed the last wicket, that of Jayden Seales, to the biggest cheer of the day. That took Anderson, who will be 42 later this month, to 701 wickets in his 22-year Test career, a tally eclipsed only by Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan.

"I was a bit nervous this morning, I woke up and all I could think about was the day ahead. I was emotional," said Atkinson.

"I tried to keep as level as possible but my Dad (Ed) was saying 'this is the biggest day of your life'. I just said 'relax! I'm trying not to think like that!'.

"He's a big cricket fan, so to make him proud and make my family proud is very special. Walking through the Long Room at the end and seeing him there was pretty cool. If you could ask me what I want in a day, that would be pretty close to the top."

The Anderson family were present too. Before play the five-minute bell on the balcony of the pavilion was rung by his daughters Ruby and Lola with his parents and wife alongside.

West Indies, however, refused to play along and had reached 0-34 without alarm when Anderson left the attack. But they were soon 3-43 with Atkinson taking two and top scorer Mikyle Louis (27) dismissed by skipper Ben Stokes. 

Alick Athanaze (23) and Kavem Hodge (24) added 40 but when Atkinson parted them the tourists collapsed, losing 7-33 with Atkinson taking three wickets in four balls at one point. England were aided by superb catching, notably by Harry Brook and Pope.

The tourists, who had only one warm-up match, fielded less well, Crawley escaping a run out before he had scored and Ben Duckett dropped on one. The latter perished soon after but Crawley took advantage, making 76. Pope also scored 57 as England built the platform for a commanding first-innings lead.

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.


Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
AU$10
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
AU$5
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
AU$99
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

SEVEN DAYS FREE
Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store