James Anderson’s bid to become only the third man and first pace bowler to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings was put on hold yesterday as bad weather delayed play in England’s series finale against New Zealand at Trent Bridge.
Anderson was eyeing a place in history on the third day of the third Test after taking the first six wickets to fall as New Zealand collapsed to 96 for six in reply to England’s first innings 364.
But his quest for cricketing immortality was put on hold as rain and bad light prevented the third day’s play starting as scheduled at 11am.
The 25-year-old Lancashire quick’s figures of six wickets for 42 runs in 15 overs were already his best in Test cricket and they left New Zealand 69 runs short of avoiding the follow-on with all their top order back in the pavilion.
New Zealand, further bad weather permitting, now face a tough task in preventing England taking this series 2-0 after the hosts won by six wickets at Old Trafford following the drawn first Test at Lord’s.
Debutant wicket-keeper Gareth Hopkins will resume on 11 not out with captain Daniel Vettori unbeaten on 3.
England off-spinner Jim Laker was the first man to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings when he claimed 10 for 53 against Australia at Old Trafford in 1956. In the same game, Laker also took a Test record 19 for 90 in the match.
India leg-spinner Anil Kumble joined Laker in the record books by taking 10 for 74 against Pakistan at Delhi in 1999.
That England made as many as they did owed much to an eighth-wicket stand of 76 between Stuart Broad and fellow fast bowler Anderson.
Both quicks made their Test-best scores, Broad’s 64 his maiden Test fifty, and night watchman Anderson, in his 25th Test, contributing 28.
“It probably is the best day I’ve had,” said Anderson, who was near unplayable at times when bowling in overcast conditions tailor-made for his style. “It was ideal, I bowl at my best when the ball is swinging.”
Before tea on Friday, the 25-year-old Lancashire quick took two wickets for five runs in 11 balls to reduce New Zealand to 14 for two. He struck again soon afterwards when New Zealand, who had recovered slightly to 57 for two, found themselves declining to 62 for four after Anderson took two wickets in four balls without conceding a run.
England, who had resumed on Friday in trouble at 273 for seven added 91 more valuable runs as they looked to win the series 2-0.
Then Anderson, in overcast conditions, produced two superb outswingers which saw him take two wickets for five runs in 11 balls, his third delivery clean bowling opener Aaron Redmond for 1. Kiwi dangerman Brendon McCullum, promoted to No. 3 in place of the dropped James Marshall, was playing in this match as a batsman only after a back injury meant he was unable to keep wicket. But he managed just 9 before, aiming across the line, he too lost his off-stump.
Ross Taylor exited for 21, turned round by a ball which went off the outside edge to Kevin Pietersen in the gully. Taylor’s departure brought in Daniel Flynn, who lost two teeth after being hit on the head by an Anderson bouncer during England’s six-wicket second Test win at Old Trafford.
The luckless Flynn lasted just three balls before he was leg before wicket for a duck to an Anderson delivery that kept low.
Opener Jamie How had made 40 as his colleagues came and went, but he became Anderson’s fifth victim when edging through to wicket-keeper Tim Ambrose and New Zealand were in dire straits at 77 for five.
And before the umpires took the players off for bad light, Anderson had all-rounder Jacob Oram, who made a century in the drawn first Test at Lord’s, caught behind for 7.
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