James Anderson Strikes As England Eye Huge Win Over West Indies In 1st Test

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James Anderson led the way in his farewell international match as England closed in on a crushing innings win over the West Indies in the first Test at Lord’s on Thursday. The West Indies had slumped to 79-6 in their second innings at stumps on the second day, still a mammoth 171 runs behind England’s first-innings 371, with Anderson having taken a miserly 2-11 in 10 overs. England great Anderson came into his 188th and last Test before international retirement having already taken 700 wickets — the most by any fast bowler in the 147-year history of the format.

Yet the 41-year-old had to wait until dismissing last man Jayden Seales in the first innings to extend that tally to 701.

But it was a different story on Thursday as Anderson reduced the tourists to 12-1 by bowling West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite with a ball that nipped back off the seam.

England captain Ben Stokes then had Kirk McKenzie lbw for a duck as he became only the third man, after West Indies great Garry Sobers and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis, to take both 200 wickets and score 6,000 runs in Tests.

Mikyle Louis, who had already marked his Test debut by top-scoring with 27 in the West Indies’ meagre first-innings 121, was then caught behind off Stokes for 14 as England strengthened their grip on the first of this three-match series.

The cascade of wickets continued when Kavem Hodge played on to debutant fast bowler Gus Atkinson, who had done the damage in the first innings with a spectacular return of 7-45.

Alick Athanaze offered a measure of resistance while making 22 before he fell to a combination of England’s old and new, edging Anderson — 42 later this month — low to debutant wicketkeeper Jamie Smith, who celebrates his 24th birthday on Friday.

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The West Indies were now 55-5, with England eyeing a repeat of their celebrated two-day win over the Caribbean side at Headingley back in 2000.

The tourists avoided that embarrassment but lost Jason Holder to what became the last ball of the day when the former captain was brilliantly caught at short leg by a diving Ollie Pope after fending at Atkinson.

Stylish Smith

Earlier Smith, averaging over fifty in the County Championship this season for title-holders Surrey, made an eye-catching 70 during an assured 119-ball innings that included eight fours and two sixes.

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It was the fifth fifty of England’s innings, with Smith following Zak Crawley (76), Joe Root (68), Pope (57) and Harry Brook (50) to the landmark.

England resumed Thursday on 189-3, already 68 runs ahead and they again scored briskly against the wayward West Indies quicks before left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie briefly staunched the flow of runs by bowling both Stokes and former skipper Root with sharply turning deliveries

Smith had been chosen as England’s wicketkeeper ahead of Ben Foakes in part because the selectors felt he was better at batting aggressively with the tail than his Surrey team-mate.

He proved them right by going on the attack when pulling a six off Shamar Joseph — who later left the field with what appeared to be a hamstring injury — before launcing another off Seales over the stand.

After Shoaib Bashir was brilliantly run out by Louis’ direct hit from point, No 11 Anderson walked out to a standing ovation from MCC members in the Pavilion for what could well be his last Test innings.

Anderson was left on nought not out without facing a ball, however, when Smith holed out in the deep off fast bowler Seales, who took 4-77.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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