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ENG vs PAK, 3rd Test: James Anderson on verge of history as England continue to remain on top

Looking to become the first pace bowler to take 600 Test wickets, James Anderson trapped Abid Ali in front to snare his 599th wicket before rain interfered.

SNS | New Delhi |

James Anderson on Monday grabbed his 599th Test wicket as England continued to remain on top of Pakistan in the third Test at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton at the end of rain-hit Day 4. Still trailing by 210 runs in the second innings, Pakistan ended the day’s play at 100/2.

In his bid to become the first pacer to take 600 Test wickets, Anderson had trapped Abid Ali (42) for an LBW before bad light forced England captain to restore to spin for the rest of the day’s play. The play was soon abandoned within a few overs due to rain.

Only spin legends Muttiah Muralitharan (800) of Sri Lanka, Australia’s Shane Warne (708) and India’s Anil Kumble (619) have more wickets than Anderson in the game’s longest format.

Before Pakistan were asked to follow on in the second essay, they were bundled out for a meager score of 273 in the first innings in reply to England’s mammoth 583/8d courtesy of Zak Crawley’s double hundred and a brilliant hundred by Jos Buttler.

At the close of play on Day 4, skipper Azhar Ali, who scored a gritty 141 in the first innings, and Babar Azam were at the crease on 29 and 4, respectively.

Openers Abid Ali and Shan Masood shared a 49-run stand before Masood was trapped in front by Stuart Broad. Anderson then sent Ali back as Pakistan remained 210 runs in arrears.

Anderson, who returned figures of 5/56 in the first innings, and could have had at least three more wickets had catches not been dropped off his bowling on Day 3, saw wicketkeeper Jos Buttler drop yet another catch off his bowling in the first session on Monday.

Brief scores: England 583/8d vs Pakistan 273 & 41/2 (Azhar Ali 29 batting, Babar Azam 4 batting; James Anderson 1/18, Stuart Broad 1/23)

With IANS inputs