Jimmy Anderson has continued his incredible age-defying heroics for England, ripping through Kane Williamson and New Zealand's top order on day two of the second Test. The 40-year-old recently ascended to the World No.1 Test ranking for the sixth time in his career, becoming the oldest bowler to hold the mark in 87 years.
And he's showing no signs of slowing down, taking three early wickets against New Zealand on Saturday. After England declared at 8-435 at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, Anderson reduced the Black Caps to 2-12 at lunch.
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Anderson had Devon Conway caught behind by wicket-keeper Ben Foakes on the fifth ball of the innings on a faint edge that was confirmed on review. The 40-year-old then left New Zealand 2-7 when Williamson played a loose shot away from his body and nicked behind to Foakes.
It marked the ninth time that Anderson has dismissed Williamson in Tests. Not done there, Anderson then Will Young caught behind on two not long after the break, with Foakes taking his third catch.
England earlier commenced the day's play on 3-315, with Harry Brook and Joe Root looking to build on their 294-run partnership after completely dominating a rain-hit opening day. Matt Henry ended their epic stand on 302, dismissing Brook for 186 and denying him a maiden double-century with a caught-and-bowled.
Skipper Ben Stokes then smashed a quick-fire 27 off 28 balls before he slogged a Neil Wagner delivery to substitute fielder Scott Kuggeleijn at mid-off. The captain's dismissal triggered a mini-collapse as England lost 3-27, with spin bowling all-rounder Michael Bracewell trapping Foakes (0) and Stuart Broad (14) lbw.
Root played a superb hand as his batting partners dwindled, thrashing the New Zealand bowlers for 10 fours and three sixes in his 224-ball knock of 153 not out. He flicked a delivery from Henry over backward square for four on the last ball before Stokes called them in and declared.
Anderson's display left the cricket world speechless on Saturday, however many Kiwi fans took aim at Williamson for his 'dreadful' dismissal. His four runs marked the first time in Test cricket that he's been dismissed for three-consecutive single-figure scores.
Jimmy Anderson on a roll - 3rd wicket for him now, 685 Test wickets. Ridiculous stuff by Anderson!
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) February 25, 2023
Absolutely phenomenal 👏
— Chris (@Hughesy_Chris) February 25, 2023
Dreadful from the usually impeccable Williamson.
As expected from Jimmy. Sublime.
— 🏏💙Gareth McCarter 🌈⚽️ (@g2mcc) February 24, 2023
Jimmy Anderson is insane, bloke has a free bus pass and is the best bowler in world cricket.
— Charlie Phillips (@CharliePhill22) February 24, 2023
Jimmy Anderson stop. Unreal man
— Vikram 🏏⚽ (@shortarmpull) February 25, 2023
— JasoDa (@99Jasoda) February 25, 2023
Kane Williamson might be more cooked than Kohli
— HaHa (@cricanadian) February 25, 2023
Jimmy Anderson makes history as World No.1 bowler
Earlier this week, Anderson took Pat Cummins' mantle as the World's No.1-ranked bowler in Tests. He took seven wickets as England won the first Test by 267 runs, moving his career total to 682 wickets.
For the first time since his debut series in 2003, Anderson's career average went below 26 as a result. Anderson knocked Cummins off his four-year perch to become the oldest player to top the Test bowling rankings since Aussie great Clarrie Grimmett in 1936.
Since turning 35, Anderson has taken 202 wickets in 56 Tests at the incredible average of 20.56. He has now taken more Test wickets than any other fast bowler in history - well clear of England teammate Stuart Broad (571 at the start of the second Test). Legendary Australian quick Glenn McGrath took 563 scalps across his Test career.
If he keeps up his extraordinary form, Anderson is odds-on to surpass the legendary Shane Warne's mark of 708 career wickets. Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan holds the all-time Test record with 800.
During the first Test, Anderson and Broad broke the record held by McGrath and Warne for most wickets taken in partnership. Anderson and Broad went to 1009 combined wickets from 113 matches played together, overtaking McGrath and Warne's mark of 1001.
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