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James Anderson becomes first pace bowler to pick 700 Test wickets

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Dharamshala, March 9: Veteran England pacer James Anderson on Saturday became the first-ever pace bowler to pick up 700 Test wickets during the third day of the fifth match against India at HPCA.

The legendary fast bowler became only the third man after Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (800) and leg-spinner Shane Warne (708) to achieve the feat in the longest format of the sport.

With 698 wickets in his account going into the fifth Test in Dharamsala, Anderson’s start with the ball was less than ideal as he was the victim of Shubman Gill’s masterpiece. Ultimately, though, the seasoned pacer prevailed over the youthful Indian player to bag his own 699th victim.

Anderson dismissed Kuldeep Yadav on Day 3 of the fifth Test against India on Saturday to reach the milestone. An off-cutter from around the wicket lured Kuldeep into the drive. The ball took the outside edge and Ben Foakes did the rest behind the stumps.

As Warne and Muralitharan were both under 40 when they became members of the enigmatic 700-wicket club, the 41-year-old Anderson is the oldest bowler to reach the milestone.

Warne, meanwhile, was the one who kicked off the elite club on December 26, 2006, when he got the wicket of Andrew Strauss in the Boxing Day Test against England. A year later Muralitharan joined him on the list, meanwhile, it took around 17 years for any player to join the two greats on the list.

For England, off-spinner Shoaib Bashir took his second five-wicket haul in Tests as England bowled out India for 477 in their first innings early on Day Three. India now have a lead of 259 runs over England, with Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma making 100 and 103 respectively. The hosts’ were also helped by a fine 65 from debutant Devdutt Padikkal and 56 from Sarfaraz Khan.

IANS

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