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James Anderson is first Englishman to join the 500 club


By David Clough

James Anderson admitted he had to struggle to keep his emotions in check after becoming the first Englishman to take 500 Test wickets.

Anderson was watched by his family among the Lord's crowd on day two of the third Investec Test against the West Indies - and when he clean-bowled Kraigg Brathwaite to reach the famous landmark, they were uppermost in his mind.

So too were a group of players who have been present for many of his 129 Tests so far, with former captain Alastair Cook close at hand in the slips to help him celebrate a moment which puts him in the company of just five other bowlers in the all-time global list.

"I felt a bit emotional, because my family were in the crowd - my kids, mum and dad and the missus," said the 35-year-old seamer.

"Knowing they were there made it special, and sharing with guys I've played 100 Tests with as well."

The reaction of his team-mates spoke of their enjoyment too in his achievement, which has helped give England the advantage in a tight contest after the tourists reached a second-innings 93 for three at stumps to nose just 22 runs in front in this series decider.

"It's an amazing feeling to see how pleased they were for me," he said.

"It was a bit more (not quite) teary, but emotional... I don't normally get like that when I'm trying to focus on my job."

He recovered his composure to take a second wicket before the close - Kieran Powell also bowled - with a different ball, after impact with Brathwaite's middle-stump damaged the first and ensured it is already in Anderson's safe keeping.

"The ball that hit the stumps made a big gash, so they changed it - and luckily someone got their hands on it," he said.

Anderson went to his 500 in just his second over, having snapped up two early Windies wickets in the first innings too only to stay stuck on 499 when Ben Stokes took over with six for 22.

Stokes added a crucial 60 as England then eked out 194 all out despite Kemar Roach's five for 72.

"Ideally I'd have got it the first day, but Ben didn't want me to..." Anderson, who took a good diving catch for Stokes' fifth wicket, said with a half-smile.

"To to get it today, with the game so tight, it is a big help."

He did so with a very good delivery, before an even better one to go to 501.

"I thought I'd try full and straight (at Brathwaite), and it nipped back," he added. "The second one was an outswinger."

Anderson had to switch from his favoured Pavilion End just before stumps, however, having been warned twice by umpire Marais Erasmus for encroaching on the pitch as the slope pulled him in.

He was seen discussing the issue with Erasmus, and is one more warning from being ruled out of bowling for the rest of the match.

"I was (just) talking (him) through my 500!" he said.

"I was getting frustrated. I tried to get off it, but he mentioned it a couple of times and then warned me straight away in the second spell. I'll be doing everything I can to not run on the wicket.

"They have laws to abide by - but with us batting last, it doesn't make sense to do it deliberately."

Reflecting on a career that has had its ups and downs, he added: "I think most players go through that, form or injury, and that's made me stronger as a cricketer and person."


The milestone wickets

England seamer James Anderson has taken his 500th Test wicket during the third match against the West Indies.

The 35-year-old, England’s record Test wicket-taker since passing Ian Botham’s mark of 383 in 2015, dismissed Kraigg Brathwaite on the second evening at Lord’s to become the first England bowler to achieve the feat.

Here, we look at his milestone wickets.

1. Mark Vermeulen (bowled) v Zimbabwe at Lord’s, 2003

50. MS Dhoni (caught Ian Bell) v India at Lord’s, 2007

100. Jacques Kallis (lbw) v South Africa at The Oval, 2008

150. Graeme Smith (caught Matt Prior) v South Africa at Newlands, 2010

200. Peter Siddle (caught Paul Collingwood) v Australia at Perth, 2010

250. Lahiru Thirimanne (caught Graeme Swann) v Sri Lanka at Galle, 2012

300. Peter Fulton (caught Graeme Swann) v New Zealand at Lord’s, 2013

350. Angelo Mathews (caught Alastair Cook) v Sri Lanka at Lord’s, 2014

384. Dinesh Ramdin (caught Alastair Cook) v West Indies at Antigua, 2015

400. Martin Guptill (caught Ian Bell) v New Zealand at Headingley, 2015

450. Rangana Herath (lbw) v Sri Lanka at Durham, 2016

500. Kraigg Brathwaite (bowled) v West Indies at Lord’s, 2017


Anderson’s fellow 500 club members

James Anderson has joined Test cricket’s elite 500 club. Here, we assesses the five others to have reached the milestone.

MUTTIAH MURALITHARAN, Sri Lanka (800 wickets, 133 Tests, 22.72 average)

The Sri Lankan great boasts a tally that will surely never be conquered. His controversial action will always encroach into conversations about his ability to generate prodigious, venomous turn with his off-breaks and doosras but having been cleared to bowl by the ICC, he did so with a merciless appetite. His record of 67 five-wicket hauls and 22 10-wicket matches is a record by an almost comical margin.

SHANE WARNE, Australia (708 wkts, 145 Tests, 25.41 avg)

With a club cricketer’s build, Warne busted many stereotypes with his genius for leg-spin. He resuscitated the art and bamboozled batsmen all over the world. He made his name by bowling England’s Mike Gatting with the ‘ball of the century’ in 1993 and signed off 14 years later, in triumph after a 5-0 Ashes whitewash.

ANIL KUMBLE, India (619 wkts, 132 Tests, 29.65 avg)

The cerebral wrist-spinner will be immortalised by his feat of taking all 10 wickets in an innings against Pakistan in 1999. Kumble’s brilliance was often sidelined by the exploits of the two names above but he achieved two things neither did – a Test century and captaining his country.

GLENN McGRATH, Australia (563 wkts, 124 matches, 21.64 avg)

It was Australian cricket’s great fortune that the careers of Warne and McGrath ran in tandem from 1993 to 2007. McGrath stands as the most prolific seam bowler in history and achieved greatness not through pace or lateral movement, though he was able summon enough of both. He was relentless in finding the right line.

COURTNEY WALSH, West Indies (519 wkts, 132 Tests, 24.44 avg)

Discussions on the greatest fast bowler from the Caribbean tend to be long and involve many contenders. But none had Walsh’s fortitude and staying power, as he clocked up 132 Test caps in 17 years. No specialist paceman has ever played more.

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