Anderson emotional after moving to 500 Test wickets

09 September 2017 04:54

James Anderson just about managed 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 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.

He has just two fellow seamers, West Indies' Courtney Walsh and Australia's Glenn McGrath, above him in the 500 club - which is topped by Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, with an astounding 800 wickets.

"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 West Indies 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 said with a half-smile.

"To to get it (on Friday), with the game so tight and focus on, it is a big help."

Source: PA