LONDON – James Anderson took the best innings figures of his Test career as England completed a nine-wicket and series-clinching victory against West Indies at Lord’s on Saturday.
Anderson followed up his Friday feat of becoming the first England bowler and only sixth in history to take 500 Test wickets by finishing with a return of 7/42 in 20.1 overs as West Indies were dismissed for 177 in their second innings on the third day of the third Test.
That left England with a meagre target of 107, and they finished on 107/1 off 28 overs as they took a three-match series 2-1.
Mark Stoneman was 40 not out and Tom Westley 44 not out in an unbroken stand of 72.
Anderson’s return just surpassed his previous best in 129 career Tests of 7/43 against New Zealand at Trent Bridge in 2008.
It was also the fifth time the 35-year-old Lancashire swing bowler had taken five or more wickets in a Test innings at Lord’s, with England all-round great Ian Botham’s eight such hauls the most anyone has taken in Tests at ‘the home of cricket’.
Shai Hope, whose twin hundreds were the backbone of West Indies’ series-levelling win at Headingley, top-scored in this innings with 62.
But no other batsman made more than opener Kieran Powell’s 45.
West Indies were 153/6 at lunch, with Hope 60 not out.
But Hope’s fourth ball after the interval saw him undone by a superb Anderson leg-cutter and caught behind.
West Indies’ tail folded cheaply with Anderson, fittingly, ending the innings when he bowled Kemar Roach.
For the second time in the match, Anderson walked off to a standing ovation from a capacity Lord’s crowd.
West Indies needed everything to go their way in the field if they were to record a remarkable win yet the very first ball of England’s chase, from Shannon Gabriel, went for four byes.
Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo struck first ball to have Alastair Cook (17) lbw, but that merely denied England a 10-wicket victory.
Play started on Saturday in bright sunshine, a marked contrast to the grey skies that had encircled Lord’s during the first two days.
But despite the improved batting conditions, it only needed four balls on Saturday for Anderson to take another wicket.
Bowling from the Nursery End, where the eight-foot slope across the ground naturally takes the ball away from a right-handed batsman’s off stump, Anderson found Roston Chase’s edge and wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow held a simple catch.
Chase was out for his overnight three and West Indies were 94/4.
Anderson should have had another wicket when Jermaine Blackwood, on two, mistimed a drive only for Stuart Broad to drop the catch at mid-off.
Broad then had Blackwood given out lbw but the batsman successfully reviewed after replays confirmed an inside edge.
It all made little difference when Blackwood was dismissed for five, caught behind off Anderson, bowling from the Nursery End after being warned for running on the pitch at the Pavilion End on Friday.
Shane Dowrich, dropped on nought, fell for 14 when a mistimed pull off Toby Roland-Jones gave Broad an easy catch at mid-on.
Hope, 35 not out overnight, took 54 balls to score his first boundary on Saturday, but a resounding cover-drive off Ben Stokes was worth the wait.
A four off his legs against Roland-Jones then saw Hope to a 127-ball fifty including eight boundaries as the 23-year-old Barbados batsman produced another significant contribution.