LONDON: James Anderson took a Test career best of seven for 42 yesterday to destroy the West Indies’ batting on the third day of the third Test at Lord’s and set England up for a 2-1 series victory.
West Indies were dismissed for 177 after lunch in their second innings, leaving the home side needing 107 for victory with more than two days’ play remaining to ensure they retain the Wisden trophy.
Anderson, who on Friday became the first England bowler to take 500 Test wickets, captured the key wicket of Shai Hope for 62 immediately after lunch and two balls later bowled Devendra Bishoo for a duck.
He then bowled Kemar Roach for three to better his previous Test best of seven for 43 against New Zealand at Trent Bridge in Nottingham in 2008.
Bowling under clear skies on the third morning of a match in which 23 wickets fell on the first two days, Anderson struck twice in the first hour after resuming the attack from the Pavilion End.
Roston Chase had not added to his overnight score of three when he pushed forward to the fourth delivery of the morning and edged a low catch to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.
Anderson, who had picked up two second innings wickets on Friday, should have dismissed Jermaine Blackwood for two when he lofted the ball at mid-off to Stuart Broad but he spilled the chance after getting both hands to the ball.
Blackwood, who won another reprieve on four when the third umpire overruled Marais Erasmus after he had given the batsman out leg-before to Broad, failed to capitalise and was out for five, edging Anderson to Bairstow.
Anderson gave Hope and wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich a torrid time outside their off-stump and Broad bounded in with renewed vigour from the other end.
Dowrich had not scored when Broad could get only the finger tips of his left hand to the ball as he dived in vain to catch a mishit and the batsmen were grateful for the first drinks break after only 19 runs had been added in the first hour.
England captain Joe Root made a double change, bringing on Ben Stokes and Toby Roland-Jones and the latter took his first wicket of the innings when Dowrich on 14 tamely lobbed a short delivery to Broad at mid-on.
Captain Jason Holder was not out eight at the interval after yet another dropped catch from the final ball of the morning when Alastair Cook at gully failed to cling on to a chance from Root’s occasional off-spin. It was the 26th catch to go down in the series.
While his team mates struggled, Hope generally looked in control on a pitch which was appreciably better for batting under the sun then it had under heavy cloud cover on the first two days.