Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Cricket

James Anderson is closing in on Ian Botham wickets tally

By Rory Dollard

James Anderson moved one wicket closer to a place in England's record books on day two of the first Test against the West Indies in Antigua.

Anderson, on the occasion of his 100th cap, started the day four short of passing Sir Ian Botham's record 383 Test wickets.

He moved to 381 with the scalp of Devon Smith, who nicked a fine delivery to Jos Buttler, during an opening spell that saw plenty of the controlled swing bowling that has defined his career.

At tea the West Indies were 84 for two, having kept the tourists down to 399 with a much improved bowling effort.

England resumed on 341 for five, but lost their next five wickets for 58. Anderson scored 20 of those, all in boundaries, but his real business began when England took the field.

He led out the team, in deference to his milestone appearance, and squeezed in two overs before the lunch break.

Anderson struck with the second ball of his fifth over.

Smith was the victim, nicking in the channel around off stump and sending a regulation catch into Buttler's gloves.

Anderson was withdrawn after bowling seven overs for nine runs, leaving Chris Jordan and Stuart Broad to share the load.

Jordan turned in a testing spell and was rewarded with the wicket of Darren Bravo who withdrew his bat too late and ended up edging tamely to the wicketkeeper.

The day started with West Indies bowling coach Curtly Ambrose giving his charges an impassioned pep talk, the Caribbean great wagging his finger and pumping his fist as he talked.

His words had the desired effect as the pace trio of Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach and Jason Holder banished their lacklustre showing on the first evening and knocked England over before lunch.

Five of Ireland's World Cup squad have been named in the Ireland A squad to play MCC at Lord's next Tuesday, the first big game of the summer.

John Mooney will captain the side which also includes North West captain Andy McBrine, his Warriors team-mate Stuart Thompson and the two pace bowlers who failed to get a match in Australia and New Zealand last month, Craig Young and Peter Chase.

Graeme McCarter, who has joined Coleraine this season and must have been very close to World Cup selection is also included, along with four other full internationals - CIYMS opener Chris Dougherty, Stuart Poynter, Eddie Richardson and Greg Thompson, the Waringstown leg spinner who has not played an international since 2008.

Completing the squad is Lee Nelson, another player who enjoyed a good season with the Northern Knights, and David Rankin, brother of former international Boyd who is the fifth member of this year's Warriors line-up.

Ireland A: J Mooney (capt), P Chase, C Dougherty, A McBrine, G McCarter, L Nelson, S Poynter (wk), D Rankin, E Richardson, G Thompson, S Thompson, C Young

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph