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Anderson ends spin monopoly on 600 club

The England pacer became only the fourth bowler and the first fast bowler to take 600 wickets in Test cricket on Tuesday
James Anderson holds up the ball to celebrate his 600th Test wicket, in Southampton  on Tuesday.

Agencies   |   Southampton   |   Published 26.08.20, 03:27 AM

James Anderson has finally entered the exclusive “600 Club.”

The England pacer became only the fourth bowler and the first fast bowler to take 600 wickets in Test cricket on Tuesday by dismissing Azhar Ali in the third and final Test against Pakistan, at the Ageas Bowl, which ended in a draw.

Only 27.1 overs were possible on the final day as the first two sessions were washed out due to rain and wet outfield. Pakistan, resuming on 100/2, were 187/4 when the last hour remained. The two teams then settled for a draw.

England, by virtue of winning the first Test, clinched the series 1-0 — their second straight series victory following a 2-1 win versus the West Indies.

The cynosure of the day, though, was Anderson. After England captain Joe Root took the catch at slip to give Anderson his prized wicket, the 38-year-old fast bowler was mobbed by his teammates.

Then Anderson took the ball in his right hand and with a cheeky smile saluted all sides of the Ageas Bowl, which is without spectators because of coronavirus restrictions. Coach Chris Silverwood applauded on the boundary edge.

Anderson, who played in his 156th Test, is fourth on the list of all-time leading wicket-takers in Tests. Only Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708) and Anil Kumble (619) are above him.

“Massive effort from a great fast bowler. Welcome to the club,” Kumble, the former India leg-spinner, tweeted.

Anderson is the second quickest to get to 600 wickets, taking six balls more than Muralitharan, but it could have come much sooner. He was dropped four times in 37 balls on either side of Pakistan’s overnight change of innings between Days III and IV of the final Test. 

With the first two sessions of Tuesday washed out, there were doubts about whether Anderson would miss the chance to reach the landmark.

Brief scores: England 583/8 decl. Pakistan 273 & 187/4 (B. Azam 63 n.o.; J. Anderson 2/45). Match draw

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