James Anderson becomes first pace bowler to reach 600 Test wickets

“Burnley Express” James Anderson has become the first pace bowler in history to reach 600 Test wickets, removing Pakistan captain Azhar Ali on the final evening of the third match.

James Anderson celebrates his 600th Test wicket
James Anderson celebrates his 600th Test wicket

Anderson was made to wait on 599 - with a saturated outfield keeping the teams off the field until 4.15 p.m. on Tuesday - but got one to spit around off stump in his third over, with skipper Joe Root holding Azhar's outside edge.

Only three other players have ever reached the milestone, with the 38-year-old joining spin greats Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble in one of sport's most exclusive groups.

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Anderson's achievement has been 17 years and 156 appearances in the making, a journey that started when he bowled Zimbabwe opener Mark Vermeulen on debut at Lord's in 2003.

In 2015 he surpassed Sir Ian Botham's England record of 383 wickets while on tour in the West Indies, moving past 400 later that year and ticking off 500 in 2017.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look back at his landmark dismissals in an incredible career.

First wicket (vs Zimbabwe, 2003)

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Anderson, an unknown streaky-haired teenager, burst on to the scene in 2003 with a five-wicket haul on his debut against Zimbabwe. He needed just 18 balls at Test level to make his mark, bowling Mark Vermeulen with one that nipped back.

100th wicket (vs South Africa, 2008)

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After taking time to establish himself in the side, Anderson soon became England's main man and went to a century of Test wickets by getting one of the best batsman to have played the game. The right-armer trapped Jacques Kallis in front of the stumps with a vicious in-swinger in a series-ending win at the Oval.

200th wicket (vs Australia, 2010)

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Anderson brought up his double century of wickets in one of the most memorable series he has played - the 2010/11 Ashes in Australia. Although this landmark came in the one game England lost, when he had Peter Siddle caught at second slip in the second innings at Perth.

300th wicket (vs New Zealand, 2013)

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New Zealand opener, former Lowerhouse professional Peter Fulton was the victim for Anderson's 300th wicket as the opener edged to Graeme Swann at second slip, with Lord's again being the venue for a special moment.

384th wicket (vs West Indies, 2015)

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Anderson became England's leading Test wicket-taker when he overtook Sir Ian Botham in Antigua. The Lancashire bowler snared West Indies wicket-keeper Dinesh Ramdin to take his place at the top of his country's list.

400th wicket (vs New Zealand, 2015)

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Another landmark - a 400th dismissal - came just a few weeks later when New Zealand opener Martin Guptill edged an out-swinger to slip at Headingley as the wickets kept piling up.

500th wicket (vs West Indies, 2017)

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His 500th wicket was never going to be anywhere other than Lord's - a ground that has been special to Anderson. West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite was the victim as he was castled by a ball that nipped off the seam.

564th wicket (vs India, 2018)

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There was more history for Anderson when he took more wickets than any other fast bowler in the history of the game by bowling India's Mohammed Shami at the Oval. The England bowler overtook Glenn McGrath to earn his place in the record books.

600th wicket (vs Pakistan, 2020)

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After a long wait, caused by dropped catches by his team-mates and rain delays, Anderson reaches the 600 landmark with a delivery that finds the edge of Azhar Ali's bat, Joe Root taking the catch at first slip.