File photo of James Anderson© AFP
When James Anderson took the wicket of Simon Harmer during South Africa’s second innings of the second Test in Manchester on Saturday, he went past Australia legend Glenn McGrath to become the leading wicket-taker in international cricket among pacers. McGrath had 949 wickets across formats in his international career, and Anderson finished the second Test against South Africa with 951, as he also dismissed Kagiso Rabada after Harmer’s wicket. Anderson now has 664 wickets in Tests, 269 in ODIs and 18 in T20 Internationals (T20Is).
He is only five wickets behind Anil Kumble‘s tally, and if Anderson can go past the legendary India leg-spinner, he will become the third highest wicket-taker in international cricket.
Anderson struck thrice in each of South Africa’s innings as England hammered the visitors by an innings and 85 runs.
After South Africa opted to bat, England started brilliantly with the ball and bowled their opponents out for 151.
Then, centuries from Ben Stokes (103) and Ben Foakes (113*) helped England reach a score of 415/9 before they declared.
England’s pacers then ran South Africa ragged as they bowled them out for 179.
Rassie van der Dussen and Keegan Peterson put on a defiant 87-run stand to keep South Africa in with a chance of avoiding innings defeat, but once they fell just after Tea on the third day of the Test, the lower order was rattled out, with Anderson striking twice and Ollie Robinson thrice.
Robinson, brought back into the team in place of Matthew Potts, finished with a four-wicket haul in the second innings.
The series is now level at 1-1 after South Africa themselves inflicted an innings defeat on England in the first Test.
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