TheSportsNewsBlog.com

Anderson takes final wicket in England win to break McGrath's record

Media playback is not supported on this device

Fifth Specsavers Test, The Kia Oval (day five)
England 332 & 423-8 dec: Cook 147, Root 125, Vihari 3-37
India 292 & 345: Rahul 149, Pant 114, Anderson 3-45
England win by 118 runs; take series 4-1
Scorecard

England’s James Anderson took the final wicket to become the most successful fast bowler in Test cricket and secure a 118-run victory in the fifth Test against India at The Oval.

The 36-year-old bowled Mohammed Shami to claim his 564th wicket, surpassing the record of Australia’s Glenn McGrath.

It secured a 4-1 series victory for England, who were held up for much of the fifth day by centuries from KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant.

However, a stunning leg-break from Adil Rashid dismissed Rahul as the tourists fell from 325-5 to 345 all out.

England toil before magical finish

Media playback is not supported on this device

Anderson drew level with McGrath’s record with two quick wickets on Monday evening, but he and England could not force victory on Tuesday until late into the final session.

Rahul and Pant’s 204-run stand gave India faint hope of an improbable victory, but Rashid dismissed both players in successive overs to put England on top.

The final three wickets fell quickly: Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja both edged Sam Curran behind before Anderson bowled Shami with a full, straight delivery.

The players were then led off the field by Alastair Cook in his final Test match for England.

“The last two days will live long in the memory,” ex-England captain Michael Vaughan said on Test Match Special (TMS).

“What a week we have had and what a series it has been.”

Anderson was visibly emotional as he walked off the field with his close friend Alastair Cook, who is retiring from international cricket

Anderson’s emotion on passing McGrath’s record was evident – the pace bowler teared up as he and Cook left the field – and he finishes the series as the leading wicket-taker with 24 wickets in five Tests.

“I’m trying not to cry,” Anderson told TMS. “It’s been a special achievement for me. It’s not something I’ve aimed for.

“I’ve just enjoyed playing for England – it’s an amazing job.”

When asked about Cook’s retirement, Anderson added: “It’s been difficult. He’s a very good mate of mine and he’s helped me through a lot of my career.

“He’s been there as a friend for me. I’ll miss him.”

Former England captain Michael Vaughan paid tribute on Twitter

England win – but questions remain

It has been a strange series for England – while they have beaten the number one side in the world, there are lingering questions over the make-up of their side.

They need, once again, to find an opener, although this time it is to replace Cook, while there are still questions over the top order.

Keaton Jennings averages 18.11 from nine innings in this series, while Joe Root started the series batting at three and ended it at four – Moeen Ali brought back into the team and promptly pushed up the order.

Sam Curran, named the man of the series, is a positive for the hosts, having taken 11 wickets and scored 272 runs in the four Tests he played.

Root’s side need to shore up their batting before the winter tour of Sri Lanka – particularly given England’s struggles away from home in recent times.

Leading wicket-takers in Test cricket
Wickets Average Type of bowler
Muralitharan (SL) 800 22.72 Spin
Warne (Aus) 708 25.41 Spin
Kumble (Ind) 619 29.65 Spin
Anderson (Eng) 564 26.84 Pace
McGrath (Aus) 563 21.64 Pace

Rashid produces ‘Shane Warne ball’

Although Anderson took the wicket that sealed the match, it was a superb delivery from Rashid that ended the frustrating sixth-wicket partnership between Pant and Rahul.

Rashid was overlooked for long periods in the morning and afternoon session, and when he did bowl, he struggled for control against India’s two attacking batsmen.

Pant, in particular, tried to dominate Rashid, hitting him for three sixes – one of which brought up his century.

With the new ball available after tea, the leg-spinner may have been expected to be taken out of the attack.

However, Root opted to persist with him – and the old ball – and he was rewarded when the Yorkshire leg-spinner produced a stunning delivery that turned extravagantly after pitching outside leg to hit the top of Rahul’s off stump.

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott, speaking on Test Match Special, said the delivery was reminiscent of a Shane Warne ball.

Media playback is not supported on this device

The leg-spinner then dismissed the second centurion, with Pant hoicking the ball down to Moeen at long-off.

Given India’s loose batting at times in this series, it may have been surprising to some that they were able to take the game into the final session.

But England let the game drift: Anderson and Broad both opened the bowling and were not seen again until the mid-afternoon.

Anderson’s reintroduction in the 68th over was greeted with the biggest cheer of the day, but he was faced with two set batsmen.

Broad’s omission from the attack may have been due to his broken rib, an after-effect of the blow he took when batting in the first innings, but Anderson’s absence, given his potency in this series, seemed strange.

Rahul & Pant frustrate England

Media playback is not supported on this device

That India got so close to England’s target was down to Rahul and Pant, who batted with intelligence and aggression throughout the day.

Moeen lacked penetration in the afternoon session while Rashid continually dropped short when eventually asked to bowl.

Pant in particular played some eye-catching strokes. He brought up his century in fitting style, getting down on one knee and launching Rashid over deep mid-wicket and into the stands.

Rahul too opted for the aerial route, smearing Stokes over extra cover for six before flat-batting the same bowler down the pitch for four to bring up his own ton.

The two also started quickly after tea, sharing a hug as they reached their 200-run stand, but they were unable to keep out Rashid as he found his line.

Despite the result, this has been a largely competitive series – and India have looked a much-improved side compared to the one that toured here four years ago.

England cricket's supporters' group, the Barmy Army, paid tribute on Twitter

‘Whoever wrote this script got it spot on’ – what they said

Former England captain Michael Vaughan: “It’s been an emotional week.

“We’ve celebrated a great player in Alastair Cook and his mate James Anderson took the last wicket to beat McGrath’s record.

“Whoever wrote the script got it spot on.”

James Anderson on TMS: “It’s been an amazing series, one of the best I’ve been a part of.

“It’s been quite close. We’ve been up against it a lot and we’ve had to put hard yards in. It’s been hard graft.

“It’s been a real big stepping stone for this team. We’ve been inconsistent, but it feels like we’re getting somewhere.”

Media playback is not supported on this device

England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, speaking to Sky Sports: “To beat India 4-1 at home in the last six weeks of the summer has been a huge achievement.

“That ball from Rash, people talk about balls of the century, that is up there. It has turned about three or four foot, I reckon.

“It was a fitting way for Cookie to bow out, no amount of words can sum up his career.”

On Anderson: “It was the perfect ball. You want to bring the stumps into play. To see them cartwheel – the stumps drop back and the bails to go – was unreal.

“Now he has gone past Glenn McGrath, that’s something that can never be taken away.

“So many records in this game have gone. It just shows the amount of experience and class in the dressing room.

“It’s been an emotional week.”

Alastair Cook, left, and James Anderson pose for photos

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

BBC Sport – Cricket

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *