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James Anderson relishes to be part of 500 club

England's James Anderson celebrates the wicket of West Indies' Kraigg Brathwaite and his 500th test wicket
England's James Anderson celebrates the wicket of West Indies' Kraigg Brathwaite and his 500th test wicket

England fast bowler James Anderson described the feel as 'surreal' after he became the sixth bowler in the history of the game to reach 500-Test wickets.

The 35-year-old headed into the game with a total of 497 wickets and started the second innings, with just one needed to achieve the feat and in his second over, he castled Kraigg Brathwaite to become the first bowler from England and the third ever fast bowler to reach 500 wickets.

He also later picked Kieran Powell before stumps as West Indies finished day two with a score of 93 for three, thereby maintaining a 22 run lead.

"It feels good. It’s a bit surreal. I can’t believe I have this many wickets or I have played this much cricket. I‘m a bit relieved to have it out of the way," he said.

"Ideally I’d have done it yesterday but, from the team’s point of view, we bowled really well.

"It’s a great place to bowl. I got my first wicket here and now I have my 500th. My family and friends were in the crowd."

Anderson has a realistic chance of finishing his career as the leading wicket-taker among the fast bowlers with former West Indian great Courtney Walsh (518) and Australia's Glenn McGrath (563) up the latter and the Lancashire seamer is hoping to play as much he can.

"I‘m loving it at the moment and want to keep playing as long as possible," he said.

"If I can keep going for another two or three years I might get somewhere near."

Meanwhile, tributes continued to pour for Anderson who was described as one of the 'greats' of the game by his former team-mate Alec Stewart.

“We are talking about James Anderson, a world great. He is up there with McGrath, (Curtly) Ambrose, Walsh," said Stewart.

Former England skipper Nasser Hussain added: “He’s been a credit to his country and when he gets that ball in his hand there aren’t many bowlers better than him.”

Former West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding reckons Anderson found conditions outside England a bit challenging.

“He’s done exceptionally well in England, but he hasn’t done so well away from home,” Holding told Reuters.

“He uses the conditions here beautifully. He’s in the list of all-time English greats with the volume of wickets but there are others who I would still rank higher.”

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