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James Anderson: England bowler takes 500th Test wicket


Anderson takes 500th Test wicket

James Anderson has become the first England bowler to take 500 Test wickets.

The Lancashire player, 35, reached the milestone when he bowled Kraigg Brathwaite on day two of the final Test against West Indies at Lord’s.

Anderson is only the sixth bowler – and third seamer – to reach 500, and the five ahead of him have retired.

Brathwaite’s dismissal in the final session left West Indies 6-1 in their second innings, trailing by 65.

Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan holds the Test record with 800 wickets, with Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne on 708 and India leg-spinner Anil Kumble on 619.

Anderson, who made his debut at Lord’s in 2003, is playing his 129th Test.

In 2015, he surpassed Sir Ian Botham’s long-standing England record of 383 Test wickets in his 100th Test, also against West Indies.

Team-mate Stuart Broad, who has 386, is the next most prolific wicket-taker for England.

Anderson’s 500 wickets have come at an average of less than 28.

Beginning the third Test with 497 wickets, he took 2-31 as West Indies were bowled out for 123 in the first innings on Thursday.

He needed only 12 deliveries in the second innings to reach the landmark, swinging one in to bowl Brathwaite between bat and pad.

James Anderson bowled Mark Vermeulen to claim his maiden Test wicket

How long can Anderson go on for?

Australia’s Glenn McGrath (563) and West Indies’ Courtney Walsh (519) are the only seamers to have taken more Test wickets than Anderson.

McGrath played until he was 36, while Walsh retired at 38.

However, Anderson said before the third Test there was “no reason” he could not continue playing into his 40s.

“I wouldn’t rule it out,” he said.