James Anderson becomes first fast bowler to 600 Test wickets

England’s James Anderson has become the first fast bowler to reach 600 Test wickets.

The 38-year-old achieved the milestone by having Azhar Ali caught at first slip on the fifth day of the final Test against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl.

The Lancashire man made his Test debut in 2003 and has earned 156 caps.

He is fourth on the all-time list of Test wicket-takers, behind spinners Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble.

Anderson began the third Test in Southampton on 593 wickets and bowled beautifully, exhibiting his mastery of swing and seam.

After taking 5-56 in the first innings and trapping Abid Ali lbw in Pakistan’s second innings, Anderson faced an anxious wait while stranded on 599.

Bad light and rain ended play early on day four, with further wet weather preventing any action until 16:15 BST on Tuesday.

The frustration was compounded by the fact Anderson had seen four catches dropped off his bowling during the match.

However, with his 14th delivery of the day, he found some extra bounce, with Azhar fending to Joe Root.

The performance in the drawn third Test is the best of what has been a difficult year for Anderson. Injuries meant he was only able to bowl four overs in last summer’s Ashes series, then he was forced home early from England’s tour of South Africa.

Following the first Test against Pakistan, when he was below his best in returning match figures of 1-97, Anderson reiterated his desire to continue playing for England, saying he was still “hungry”.

Now he has achieved something that no bowler of his kind has done before, as well as joining one of cricket’s most exclusive clubs.

His milestone comes in the same summer that his long-term new-ball partner Stuart Broad took his 500th Test wicket.

Most Test wickets
Bowler Wickets Tests
Muttiah Muralitharan (SL & ICC) 800 133
Shane Warne (Aus) 708 145
Anil Kumble (Ind) 619 132
James Anderson (Eng) 600 156
Glenn McGrath (Aus) 563 124

 

(Courtesy BBC)

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