James Anderson has taken his 600th wicket in Test match cricket to become the first fast bowler to achieve such a feat. Anderson picked up the historic scalp on the final day of the third Test between England and Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl. Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali was the batsman, fending a short ball to Joe Root at slip to leave Pakistan 109-3.
Anderson overtook Australian great Glenn McGrath in 2018 to become the most succesful seam bowler in Test match history.
But now he has become just the fourth bowler in the history of the game to reach 600 Test wickets.
The 38-year-old is 19 wickets behind former India spinner Anil Kumble, who claimed 619 scalps in his 18-year career.
Surpassing Kumble’s total will be in Anderson’s sights but he is still a long way behind the top two wicket-takers of all time.
Shane Warne finished his career on 708 wickets, with former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan top of the pile on exactly 800.
Anderson started the final Test of the summer on 593 wickets and picked up his 29th career five-wicket haul in the first innings.
However, if it wasn’t for some poor fielding from his England team-mates he may not have had to wait until the fifth day for the magic moment.
In the space of two overs, Anderson had three drops off his bowling in the first innings before finally grabbing the last wicket.
Rory Burns, Zak Crawley and his old bowling partner Stuart Broad were the guilty parties.
Anderson thought he once again had Shan Masood early into Pakistan’s second innings but for wicket-keeper Jos Buttler to drop another chance.
The Lancashire bowler had Abid Ali LBW late on the fourth day to put him on the brink.
But heavy overnight rain in Southampton put chances of play in serious doubt.
Despite rain stopping before midday, a soaked outfield meant play could not get underway until 4.15pm.