Even though James Anderson has always maintained that milestones have never meant a lot to him, today he has crossed a huge milestone; one that he should be extremely proud of. In the ongoing test series between England & West Indies, he became the first England bowler to reach the milestone of 500 test wickets.
England won the 1st test by an innings and 209 runs while West Indies came back and shocked the hosts (and majority of the cricketing world) by winning the 2nd test by 5 wickets, thanks mainly to twin centuries from Shai Hope.
West Indies won the toss and elected to bat first in the final and all-important 3rd test match at Lord’s – the home of cricket. This then became a good chance for Jimmy Anderson to pick up a few early wickets and reach this mega milestone of 500 test wickets.
Anderson was already the highest wicket taker in the series thus far (10 wickets) and was three short of 500 when the test began. He and Stuart Broad bowled long opening spells each and Anderson was rewarded, even though players went off when rain interrupted play.
In the 11th over, Anderson got Kraigg Brathwaite caught behind for 10, and then immediately got Kyle Hope caught behind as well, in the 15th over; this took Anderson’s test wicket tally to 499 wickets and he was then taken off the attack (after bowling 12 overs on the trot), being made to wait a little longer for his 500th scalp.
Who knew that it would be a while before Anderson could get another chance, as Ben Stokes came in and bowled one of the finest spells of swing bowling I have ever seen, picking up a career best of 6/22, and becoming the eighth player to appear on both batting and bowling honours boards at Lord’s. However, England were bowled out cheaply as well, giving Jimmy a chance to bowl on Day 2 as well.
Wicket number 500 finally came in the 4th over of the 2nd innings as Jimmy ran in to bowl in the third session, and got Kraigg Brathwaite clean bowled. Congratulations Jimmy!
Anderson was already the highest wicket taker for England bowlers since a very long time now. #2 is his opening partner Stuart Broad who currently has 386 wickets – a long way behind Anderson. What that meant is he became the first English bowler to 500 test wickets, and the sixth bowler overall.
The last time a bowler joined the 500-test wickets club was over a decade ago – Anil Kumble was the latest addition to that club way back in 2006 when he dismissed Steve Harmison; everyone will be happy to welcome Anderson to the club.
Bowlers now ahead of Jimmy on the highest test wicket-takers list:
- Muttiah Muralitharan (SL – 800 wickets)
- Shane Warne (AUS – 708 wickets)
- Anil Kumble (IND – 619 wickets)
- Glenn McGrath (AUS – 563 wickets)
- Courtney Walsh (WI – 519 wickets)
Check out our Sports Scoops section for similar content.