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Anderson admits relief after fetching landmark wicket

James Anderson admitted it was a relief to finally become the first Englishman and only the sixth bowler in history to reach 500 Test match wickets. He had been nearing the milestone during this series against Windies and it had begun a guessing game as to when he would reach the coveted 500 mark.

“To get out of the way and focus on the game situation is a great help,” said Anderson. “I bowled a few outswingers at him Brathwaite first over and I thought I’d try a full and straight one. It nipped back down the slope. It was a bit of a frustrating day. I don’t think we bowled as well as we did first innings and the pitch looked like it was getting a bit easier.”

Anderson becomes the first England bowler to pick 500 Test wickets

“It was different emotion. I usually go through anger and then more anger but today was a bit more emotional. I don’t normally get like that during a game when I’m trying to focus. It took me a bit by surprise.”

It was fitting that Anderson took his 500th wicket at Lord’s, the ground where he made his Test debut in 2003. “I remember the first one [wicket] well,” he said. “To do it here was very memorable, such a special place to play. I could see how much it meant to Kemar Roach, getting his first five-for. That’s what it means to people to have your name etched in history here at such a historic ground so I feel very fortunate to get the wickets I have here.”

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