James Anderson breaks Richard Hadlee's record, also goes past Glenn McGrath with 30th five-wicket haul
James Anderson also became the oldest quick to take a five-for in the sub-continent, surpassing New Zealand great Richard Hadlee who achieved the feat at 37 years of age.
If age is just a number then James Anderson is perhaps one of its biggest ambassadors. The veteran England fast bowler just keeps getting better with age. After being ignored for the first Test against Sri Lanka, Anderson, 38, made a roaring comeback in the second one with a six-wicket haul in Galle. Anderson, in the process also went past Australian legend Glenn McGrath’s tally of 29 five-fors to become only the second fast bowler to pick up 30-plus five-wicket hauls in an innings of a Test match. New Zealand legend Richard Hadlee is the other seamer.
Anderson, 38, denied wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella a century after sending him back on 92 and took one more wicket to surpass his previous best of 5-75 in Galle in 2012.
The pace spearhead also became the oldest quick to take a five-for in the sub-continent, surpassing Hadlee who achieved the feat at 37 years of age.
His 30th Test five-for also makes him better than Australia pace great Glenn McGrath who has 29 to his name in an illustrious career that ended in 2007.
Legendary Sri Lanka off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan leads the chart with 67 five-fors in Test cricket. He is followed by legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne (37), former New Zealand fast bowler Richard Hadlee (36), ex-India captain Anil Kumble (35) and former Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath (34).
Anderson, who took his Test tally to 606 -- the most by a quick bowler -- returned figures of 6-40 to help bowl out Sri Lanka for 381.
Anderson and Mark Wood snatched the advantage Sri Lanka had gained on the back of Angelo Mathews' century. But the hosts have at least held onto the game after being two down for seven runs on Friday.
On day one, Lahiru Thirimanne's 43, skipper Dinesh Chadimal's half-century, and Mathews gutsy unbeaten ton revived Sri Lanka after the hosts had lost two wickets in the first five overs.
In the first session of day two, after losing early wickets, Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera came together to put on an unbeaten 70-run partnership for the 7th wicket and drove Sri Lanka past the 300-run mark.
(With agency inputs)