James Anderson reaches 400 Test wickets milestone
JAMES Anderson became the first Englishman to take 400 Test wickets on day one at Headingley but a defiant century stand from Tom Latham and debutant Luke Ronchi ensured New Zealand remained in the contest.
The second Test got off to a frustrating start as the morning session was washed out, but Anderson got the juices flowing when Martin Guptill became his landmark victim in the third over of the day. Having already usurped Sir Ian Botham last month in Antigua to become England’s leading Test wicket-taker, Anderson has now become just the 12th bowler in history to reach the milestone.
He moved to 401 as Kane Williamson fell to make it two for two but the Black Caps reached stumps on a respectable 297 for eight, Latham carving out a two-paced 84 and Ronchi adding a rapid-fire 88 in just 70 deliveries.
The fifth-wicket pair put on 120, Latham dropped three times in the 70s during a ham-fisted ten-minute period, before Stuart Broad accounted for both in the space of three balls.
It was a curious day in almost all respects, with the weather leaving 65 overs to be bowled in two lop-sided sessions and New Zealand scoring at more than 4.5 an over despite losing clusters of wickets having been sent in on a green-tinged pitch.
After the toss belatedly took place at 1.10pm, Alastair Cook opted to let Anderson loose and he quickly obliged. After seven dot balls at Guptill, the eighth drew the edge and whistled safely to Ian Bell at second slip.
Williamson was on his way out when the umpires led the teams off to avoid another ten-minute shower. When he did make it to the middle Anderson ensured it was for only two deliveries, producing an irresistible ball that kissed the edge and nestled in Jos Buttler’s gloves.
Latham led a counter-attack with Ross Taylor (20) and the pair added 66 runs in 74 balls before Broad eventually parted them, trapping Taylor lbw offering no stroke.
That brought Brendon McCullum to the crease and Broad welcomed him with a length ball outside off, only to see it smashed for six over cover.
McCullum then added six more boundaries to reach 41 in 27 balls in a tea total of 123 for three. But his fearless nature got the better of him when he needlessly thrashed at the first ball of the evening session, handing Ben Stokes a wicket at mid-off.
Mark Wood struggled with the ball early on but produced a gem to send BJ Watling back for 14 before Ronchi took control, surging past 50 in 37 balls, the quickest half-century in 116 years of Test cricket at Headingley.
England needed a breakthrough but reprieved Latham three times in ten minutes. Moeen Ali saw him put down twice on 72, Wood shelling a dolly at square-leg and Gary Ballance failing to gather a low chance at leg-slip from the next ball. On 76 he edged between first and second slip but Bell failed to move and Cook couldn’t gather on the dive.
Broad, however, shifted the momentum again. Latham was first to go, finally finding a safe pair of hands in Joe Root before Ronchi pulled a short ball to fine leg. Wood added the scalp of Tim Southee late on, but England could not finish the job.