x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

'Emotional moment' as England's James Anderson reaches 300-wicket landmark

But New Zealand are just 79 runs short of home team's first-innings total of 232 with six wickets in hand at Lord's.

James Anderson became the fourth England bowler to take 300 Test wickets. Gareth Copley / Getty Images
James Anderson became the fourth England bowler to take 300 Test wickets. Gareth Copley / Getty Images

James Anderson joined Test cricket's elite 300 club, on a tough day otherwise for England against New Zealand at Lord's on Friday.

Kiwi opener Peter Fulton was Anderson's 300th wicket – making him only the fourth Englishman to reach the landmark alongside Fred Trueman, Bob Willis and Ian Botham.

When Anderson's friend Graeme Swann held on to the catch low at second slip to complete Fulton's dismissal, New Zealand were seven for two on the second day of the first Test.

But after hugs all round from teammates, and raising the ball to the crowd, the celebrations proved fleeting as Ross Taylor took over with a fluent 66 out of 153 for four in reply to England's ponderous 232 all out.

Anderson said of his milestone: "It is huge. It was quite an emotional moment for me and it was great that I could celebrate with all the guys who I have been playing with for so long."

He admitted it had been appropriate that Swann had taken the catch adding: "It was a nice one for both of us. We get on really well and it was nice that he could take the catch."

England had looked to build on a solid, but slow, first day where they had reached 160 for two, but after they lost their last six wickets for 40 to the swing of Tim Southee (four for 58) and Neil Wagner (three for 70), with only Jonny Bairstow (41) putting up any resistance, the onus was on them to try to take control with the ball instead.

Anderson, who had begun the match on 298 wickets, immediately obliged with his first success coming with the final ball of his opening over, finding a little extra bounce to have dangerous opener Hamish Rutherford neatly caught at first slip by Alastair Cook.

England's lynchpin fast bowler then struck again, for the 300th time, when he found Fulton's outside-edge and Swann was appropriately safe with a low catch.

In perfect conditions for England's seam attack, though, Taylor launched a successful counter-attack either side of tea.

He hit 13 fours from 72 balls, mainly off the back foot through the off-side, recording the first half-century of the match and sharing the first 50 stand too with sheet-anchor Kane Williamson.

It was not until Anderson (3-32) returned for his fourth spell that he made it 301 with just his second delivery when he beat Taylor's forward push to pin him leg before wicket.

With spin already for Swann at the other end, Anderson would have got rid of Williamson's limpet presence for 23 too had Matt Prior held a one-handed chance.

But the stoic No 3 survived - as he did again four runs later, when Steven Finn found the thinnest of edges down the leg-side only for Steve Davis to give the batsman not out.

Even after Dean Brownlie went lbw to Finn via DRS to overturn Davis' not-out verdict before the close, the advantage was still with the tourists, who will look to push on today and build a first innings lead to put pressure on England in the two-match series.

England had looked well poised at 192 for four to make a score of at least 300, but Southee's dismissals of Joe Root (40) and Matt Prior (0) in successive balls put them on the backfoot, and only some late hitting from Bairstow, before he too fell victim to Southee, ensured that they got to 232.

But their bowlers will have to shine today if they are not to allow New Zealand to get away.


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