James Anderson becomes oldest pacer to claim five-for in Tests in Asia

Veteran England pace bowler James Anderson has added another feather to his illustrious cap, becoming the oldest fast bowler to claim a five-wicket haul in Test matches in Asia.

James Anderson achieved the feat when he dismissed Sri Lanka’s wicket-keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella for 92 on Day 2 of the second Test at Galle. He also sent back Suranga Lakmal for a duck, to make it six scalps in the innings.

At 38 years and 177 days, James Anderson beat the previous record held by Kiwi legend Sir Richard Hadlee (37 years, 145 days), who had picked up five wickets against India at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in 1988/89.

Sir Hadlee (37 years, 133 days) also claimed a five-for against the same opponent at Bengaluru in the same series a couple of weeks earlier.

Chris Martin, another New Zealander, is also a part of the list. He was 35 years and 332 days old when he took a five-for against India at Ahmedabad in the 2010/11 Test.

James Anderson’s five-wicket haul at Galle is his 30th five-for in Test matches. He has now gone past Aussie legend Glenn McGrath (29) on the list of bowlers with most five-wicket hauls in Test matches.

Sri Lanka great Muttiah Muralitharan leads the pack with 67 five-wicket hauls in Tests followed by Shane Warne (37), Sir Richard Hadlee (36), Anil Kumble (35) and Rangana Herath (34).

Playing in his 157th Test, James Anderson now has 606 wickets to his name at an average of 26.59. On the list of bowlers with most scalps in the longest format of the game, the England fast bowler is at number four.

Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708) and Kumble (619) form the illustrious top three.

Often criticised for his performance away from home, James Anderson has an impressive record in Asia – 66 wickets in 23 Tests at an average of 29.01, with two five-wicket hauls, both against Sri Lanka.

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