Before his England heroics on Friday and Saturday, James Anderson’s career best score stood at the 49 not out he hit for Burnley against Todmorden in the Lancashire League in 2001.
Anderson, batting at number 11, hit 81 at Trent Bridge to put England back in the first Test with India, sharing a world record last wicket stand of 198 with Joe Root, who closed on 154 not out.
It was a far cry from the “Burnley Lara”’s previous best knock at Centre Vale, as an opener, in a 17-run success for his hometown club, in Lancashire League action.
And the “Burnley Express” smiled: “Not a lot is expected of my batting.
“I went out to just bat for a bit and see what we could do.
“We needed to eat into India’s lead.
“We didn’t expect to get to where we got to.
“I did think that if I was ever going to get a 50 it would be on a wicket like this.
“You feel there are only a certain amount of types of balls that can get you out.
“It’s probably the nearest I’ll ever get to a hundred.
“You never know but it’s unlikely I will now.”
Once he reached his half-century, he admitted he didn’t know how to mark the milestone: “Joe said milk it. I didn’t know what he meant.
“I just did the rounds with the bat!
“I’ve seen people point at the dressing room so I did that as well. I’ve had a few problems with the bat but I’m a number 11!”
The 31-year-old’s previous England best, in 94 tests, was 34, while his first class best with a county Lancashire is 37 not out.
Meanwhile, Anderson’s former club Burnley reached the final of the Worsley Cup on Sunday as they look to defend the trophy they won at Turf Moor last year.
They beat Nelson, and will now travel to face Rawtenstall in the final on Sunday, August 10th.
It would have been an all-Burnley final, but Lowerhouse went down at Rawtenstall by one wicket, as the hosts claimed a dramatic last-over victory.
Lowerhouse remain top of the league, however, and reached the 20/20 final on Friday night.