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[Watch] England's New Pace Sensation Makes Devon Conway His 'First ODI Wicket'

image-lmdpq9hdGus Atkinson celebrates maiden ODI wicket with teammates (Twitter)

Emerging England pacer, Gus Atkinson made headlines on Sunday at The Rose Bowl when he secured his maiden wicket in One Day International (ODI) cricket against New Zealand during the second ODI in Southampton.

ENG vs NZ: Atkinson dismissed Conway to grab first ODI scalp

After a relatively subdued debut where he failed to make an impression, conceding 47 runs in seven overs without taking a wicket, Atkinson proved his mettle. In his first over of the day, he put up an exemplary performance, ensuring that his name echoed through the stadium.

The decisive moment came on the final ball of his first over when Atkinson, with his characteristic pace and bounce, delivered a slightly short ball outside off which shaped away. 

New Zealand's Devon Conway, fresh off a century in the previous match was enticed into driving it into the off-side. But a thick outside edge resulted in a catch straight into the hands of the wicketkeeper, sealing Atkinson’s maiden ODI wicket.

Watch: Gus Atkinson first ODI wicket video

This stellar performance isn’t Atkinson's first time in the limelight. The Surrey quick recently made waves on the international scene in the T20I series against the very same opponents. With an impressive haul of six wickets over just two games, he emerged as a vital player in the T20I series that eventually ended in a 2-2 draw.

Notably, England Cricket’s announcement of the provisional 15-member squad for World Cup 2023 last month saw Atkinson's name, a move that took many by surprise. Yet for those who have followed his career, his inclusion seems a logical progression.

The fiery pacer had been the talk of the town following his formidable stint in the County Championship and The Hundred. His blistering deliveries, clocking 95 mph had even stalwarts like Jos Buttler second-guessing. With such an impeccable run-up and fierce bouncers, Atkinson provides the England team with a distinct advantage as they gear up to defend their title in India.

Coming to the game, New Zealand, chasing a target of 226 in a revised 34 overs, found themselves in a tight spot at 56/3 after 12 overs. With top-order batsmen Finn Allen, Devon Conway, and Will Young already back in the pavillion, the onus now lies on Daryl Mitchell and skipper Tom Latham to steer the Kiwis towards victory and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.