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England debutants to take five-wicket hauls since Ben Stokes became captain

Gus Atkinson achieved the feat against West Indies at Lord’s.

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Gus Atkinson’s became the fifth debutant to take a five-wicket haul under Ben Stokes’ captaincy on day one of the first Test at Lord’s.

Here, PA looks at the bowlers who have enjoyed dream starts for Stokes.

Will Jacks – six for 161 v Pakistan, December 2022

The Surrey player is known best for his batting and white-ball cricket so it was something of a surprise when England took him on a Test tour primarily for his part-time off-spin. It was a hunch that paid off handsomely in the series opener in Rawalpindi, where he got through 40.3 overs and picked up an unlikely first-innings haul that included Pakistan captain Babar Azam and centurion Abdullah Shafique. England went on to win a high-scoring game by 74 runs but Jacks bowled only 14 overs in rest of the series and has yet to take another Test wicket.

Rehan Ahmed – five for 48 v Pakistan, December 2022

England’s Rehan Ahmed (Mike Egerton/PA)
England’s Rehan Ahmed (Mike Egerton/PA)

The Leicestershire leg-spinner became England’s youngest ever men’s Test cricketer when he was drafted in for the final Test in Karachi at the age of 18. He picked up two wickets in the first innings but came into his own in the second with a game-changing spell. Ahmed ripped through the middle order as Pakistan keeled over for 216, opening the door for England to seal a 3-0 clean sweep.

Josh Tongue – five for 66 v Ireland, June 2023

Josh Tongue acknowledges applause from the crowd after claiming a five-wicket haul (John Walton/PA)
Josh Tongue acknowledges applause from the crowd after claiming a five-wicket haul (John Walton/PA)

The Worcestershire paceman was a surprise pick for England’s Ashes warm-up, ousting Chris Woakes from the XI after impressing in the nets. He went wicketless in 13 overs in the first innings but justified his selection by putting his name on the honours board on a decisive third day, taking four of the first five wickets to fall and returning to complete his five-for with the scalp of tailender Fionn Hand. His performance earned him another Lord’s appearance against the Australians a matter of weeks later.

Tom Hartley – seven for 62 v India, January 2024

The tall Lancastrian was a gut-feel selection for England’s new year tour of India, with his height, high release point and skiddy bounce all counting in his favour despite a modest first-class record. Once again, the gamble came good for Stokes but only after a rocky start in Hyderabad. Hartley’s first ball in Test cricket was launched for six as part of a pre-meditated assault by Yashavi Jaiswal. But Hartley hit back as England romped to a remarkable comeback win despite conceding a 190-run first-innings deficit. With unpredictable bounce playing into his hands and attacking fields waiting to pounce, Hartley produced an unforgettable display.

Gus Atkinson – seven for 45 v West Indies, July 2024

England’s Gus Atkinson on day one of the first Test (Steven Paston/PA)
England’s Gus Atkinson on day one of the first Test (Steven Paston/PA)

On a day that was earmarked as a celebration of James Anderson’s outstanding career, the spotlight fell firmly on the next generation. While Anderson managed a solitary wicket of number 11 Jayden Seales, Atkinson tore through the opposition line-up, striking twice in his first three overs and firing up after lunch with three wickets in four balls. Only a late boundary stopped him besting Dominic Cork’s figures of seven for 43 as the best by an England debutant.

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