Southampton Test: Anderson made to wait for 600th wicket; England in control


PTI, Aug 24, 2020, 10:37 AM IST

Southampton: England paceman Jimmy Anderson moved within two wickets of 600 in Test cricket after taking 5-56 to help dismiss Pakistan for 273 in the third and final Test on Sunday, with visiting captain Azhar Ali left stranded on 141 not out.

England, which racked up a mammoth 583-8 declared in its first innings thanks to Zak Crawley’s 267, chose to enforce the follow-on after bowling out Pakistan late on day three.

However, bad light meant there was no further play at the Rose Bowl and Anderson — on 598 wickets — must wait another day to try to reach his latest milestone.

The tourists’ trail by 310 runs and a draw appears the best they can hope for in a match they need to win to draw the series.

England leads 1-0 and is on course to clinch a first series win over Pakistan in 10 years, and a second series this summer after beating the West Indies 2-1 in July.

The 38-year-old Anderson is fourth on the list of all-time leading wicket-takers in tests.

Only retired spinners Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708) and Anil Kumble (619) are above him.

Anderson’s bid to reach 600 wickets began Saturday when he removed three Pakistan batsmen in the final hour, and he returned Sunday to dismiss Asad Shafiq for 5 with his sixth ball of the morning, Joe Root taking a smart catch at first slip.

Azhar then led a spirited fightback, passing 6,000 test runs and making his 17th century to raise his team from the doldrums of 75-5.

Anderson completed his 29th five-wicket haul by dismissing tailender Naseem Shah for the final wicket of the innings, but by that point he had seen three catches go down in the space of 10 deliveries. Azhar was spilled by Rory Burns and Stuart Broad while Zak Crawley dropped Mohammad Abbas.

Broad at least made up for his drop by picking the ball up and running out Abbas, but it barely lifted the spirits of a furious-looking Anderson.

England’s fielders might well have been hindered by the fading visibility, with the floodlights at the Rose Bowl clearly taking over in the middle. Once England enforced the follow-on with a towering lead, it was the dark skies that stopped them going again.

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