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Watch: ‘Ageless’ Anderson takes his 650th Test wicket

England pacer James Anderson (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

By: AFP

JAMES Anderson claimed his 650th Test wicket as England reduced New Zealand to 27-1 in their second innings at lunch on the fourth day of the second Test.

Anderson was gifted his landmark wicket as New Zealand opener Tom Latham left a straight ball that clattered into his stumps.

The 39-year-old fast bowler is just third man ever to reach the landmark after spin legends Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan.

Anderson’s milestone came just months after he admitted he was “praying” his international career wasn’t over following the decision to drop him for the West Indies tour.

Restored to the team by new captain Ben Stokes, Anderson looks as good as ever and his experience will be crucial if England are to win their first Test series since January 2021.

ALSO READ: Joe Root can break Sachin Tendulkar Test run tally: Mark Taylor

England are locked in an intriguing battle with New Zealand after being dismissed for 539 in Monday’s morning session at Trent Bridge.

Joe Root scored a majestic 176 and Ben Foakes added a lively 56 to ensure New Zealand held only a 14-run lead following their own mammoth first innings total of 553.

New Zealand’s cautious start to the second innings took them 41 runs ahead of England, with Will Young unbeaten on six and Devon Conway 17 not out.

The tense final overs before lunch were a stark contract to the run spree that preceded it.

England had bludgeoned 383 runs on Sunday, starting day four on 473-5 after Root’s fastest Test century and 145 from Ollie Pope.

Root resumed on 163 and Foakes on 24, while New Zealand suffered a blow when Kyle Jamison was ruled out of day four while the pace bowler awaited the results of scans on the back injury he sustained on Sunday.

Foakes took the attack to Tim Southee in the first over of the day, smashing two boundaries as the bewildered pace bowler was plundered for 12 runs.

That blistering start was in keeping with new coach Brendon McCullum’s desire for England to play aggressively at all times.

– Outrageous Root –

Root joined the party with an outrageous reverse scoop off Southee that flew high over the slip cordon for six, his first Test maximum since February 2021 in India.

There was no mercy shown by Root, who brought up the 500 with an effortless four moments later.

For only the seventh time in the history of Tests in England both teams had made over 500 in the first innings.

Foakes crushed a four to reach a blistering hundred partnership with Root and then blasted another boundary to get his 50 in what felt like the blink of an eye.

Trent Boult finally stemmed the bleeding as he dismissed Root, who chipped to Southee at cover after chasing a wide delivery.

Slamming the bat against his pads in frustration, Root departed to spark a collapse of five wickets for 23 runs.

Stuart Broad perished trying to wallop Michael Bracewell as his outside edge produced a one-handed diving catch from Daryl Mitchell, a superb piece of fielding at odds with a host of drops from both teams over the first three days.

Foakes was next to go, easily run out by Tim Nicholls and Bracewell after Matthew Potts turned back having initially set off for a quick single.

Boult claimed his fifth wicket by clean bowling Potts with a full, swinging delivery, before Bracewell had Anderson stumped to end the innings.

England made a flying start to New Zealand’s second innings when Tom Latham (4) bizarrely left a straight ball from Anderson and watched his stumps go flying.

Anderson raised the ball to the crowd to acknowledge the raucous cheers for the Lancashire paceman’s milestone wicket.

Trent Bridge had been a batting paradise for three days, but New Zealand looked concerned that the ball was moving noticeably more under Monday’s cloudy skies.

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