Watch: James Anderson claimed a mesmeric, masterful four-for to help secure one of England’s greatest ever Test wins, against Pakistan at Rawalpindi.
England batted at an electrifying pace and strained every sinew to force 20 wickets on a flat pitch against a stubborn Pakistan side, and Anderson, playing his first Test in the country, was key to their efforts.
He was miserly in the first innings, even as every other bowler in the match struggled to contain the scoring rate, and while Ollie Robinson vied with him for accuracy in the fourth innings, Anderson was still a cut above – he claimed 4-36 in 24 overs, an economy rate of 1.50 runs per over.
Demoted from his role with the new ball as Ben Stokes and Robinson attempted a short ball ploy with success, Anderson’s first wicket came on the second morning, in the midst of a typically parsimonious spell. Imam-ul-Haq nicked perhaps the loosest delivery Anderson bowled down the leg-side to the keeper.
Mohammad Rizwan was the next victim, unable to resist fiddling at a ball in the corridor outside off, before another leg-side strangle came about, Pope taking a stellar diving catch to see off Zahid Mahmood. The fourth wicket was the best of all, a reverse-swinging in-ducker hitting Haris Rauf on the pads and leaving England one wicket from victory.
Anderson has now claimed a four-wicket haul in every country in which he has played. He’s into his fifth decade but showing no signs of stopping.