England v Pakistan: James Anderson made to wait for 600th Test wicket


Bad weather is forecast for the majority of the day
Third Test, Ageas Bowl, Southampton (day five of five)
England 583-8 dec (154.4 overs): Crawley 267, Buttler 152
Pakistan 273 & 100-2: Abid 42, Anderson 1-18
Scorecard

England and James Anderson are being held up by the weather on the fifth day of the final Test against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl.

The home side require eight wickets to secure victory, with Anderson needing one of them to become the first pace bowler to reach 600 in Tests.

The rain that arrived at the end of the fourth day fell persistently overnight and the picture was bleak at the scheduled start of 11:00 BST.

Shortly after, the wet weather cleared and the groundstaff were able to begin working. Two pitch inspections have since been held, with the next one scheduled for 15:35.

Following-on in their second innings, Pakistan are 100-2, 210 runs behind.

Anderson had Abid Ali lbw on Monday evening to move to 599 Test wickets, but he was denied the opportunity to push for 600 first by bad light, then the rain.

The Lancashire bowler would likely have already reached the milestone had it not been for four dropped catches in the match, all of which came in the space of 37 balls.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, England’s winter schedule is yet to be confirmed, so it is unclear when the 38-year-old would get his next opportunity if this match is abandoned as a draw.

England are 1-0 up and set to record their first Test series victory over Pakistan in 10 years.

They also are chasing points in the World Test Championship and a win in Southampton would see them climb above Australia into second place.



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Anderson searches for 600th Test wicket as Pakistan dig in


Pakistan began the day having not started their second innings and crept along to 41 without loss before rain forced the players off for an early lunch.

With England looking flat, both Pakistan openers looked comfortable although Anderson was denied a wicket in his third over of the day when Shan Masood edged behind but Jos Buttler failed to pouch what looked like a routine catch.

When play resumed some three hours later after groundstaff mopped up the pitch, it was Anderson’s partner in crime Stuart Broad who made the initial breakthrough, nipping one back to Masood who was out lbw for 18 not playing a shot.

Despite the lack of runs it was the longest opening stand against England since June 2016, spanning 23.4 overs.

Spinner Dom Bess whirled away without success in a soporific afternoon session as Ali edged towards a half-century.

But with the old ball finally beginning to swing, Anderson then pinned him in front of his stumps and umpire Michael Gough raised his finger. Pakistan reviewed but the ball was shown to be just clipping leg stump.

Anderson only managed one more over, however, before bad light and rain ended the day’s play with Pakistan’s captain Azhar Ali, a centurion in the first innings, on 29.

Anderson will hope that the weather forecast for Tuesday improves so that he gets the chance to reach another milestone.

Already England’s leading Test wicket taker, Anderson is behind only spinners Muttiah Muralitharan (800) of Sri Lanka, Australia’s Shane Warne (708) and India’s Anil Kumble (619).

Reuters



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