Friday 14 December 2018

Anderson ensures a fitting Oval farewell

England's James Anderson celebrates after the match. Photo: Reuters/Paul Childs
England's James Anderson celebrates after the match. Photo: Reuters/Paul Childs

James Anderson took his last opportunity of The Oval Test to claim a famous piece of history as he completed England's 118-run victory by becoming the world's most successful pace bowler ever.

Anderson had laboured in vain throughout the final day of the Test summer, but was still going strong deep into the evening and clean-bowled India tailender Mohammed Shami to conclude England's 4-1 Specsavers series success.

As the middle-stump cartwheeled backwards behind Shami, it was a moment of course which also took England's all-time leading wicket-taker past Glenn McGrath to stand alone in fourth place on the all-time Test wicket takers standings with 564 - the most for a fast bowler.

England had to hold their nerve to close out their win after KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant had threatened a world-record run chase.

Anderson was billed as the headline act. But until his late intervention, it was opener Rahul (149) and Pant (114) who lit up a slate-grey final instalment before England bowled India out for 345.

The assumption was that soon enough someone would break India's resolve. It took longer than expected, but eventually the 'someone' turned out to be Adil Rashid - who dismissed Rahul and Pant in successive overs after tea.

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Irish Independent

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