James Anderson displayed a neat sense of occasion as he proved himself instantly at home bowling from the end named in his honour by recording his new best Old Trafford figures in Test cricket.
Anderson excelled first as a number 11 batsman before returning to his day job as England’s all-time leading wicket-taker with four for 33 on day two of the fourth Investec Test against South Africa.
He helped Jonny Bairstow (99) add 50 for the last wicket in England’s 362 all out, needed only three deliveries from the James Anderson end to have Dean Elgar lbw for a duck and then, after a quiet middle session in which the hosts managed two wickets, returned to take three more for six runs as South Africa stumbled towards 220 for nine at stumps.England bowler James Anderson: “I felt like I couldn’t bowl badly, certainly this morning. It feels very strange still to hear it being announced (as the James Anderson end) – but I’m thrilled with it, and to get those wickets as well. This atmosphere was fantastic today. The crowd were absolutely amazing all day – obviously well-oiled, certainly towards the end, and in good voice. It’s a brilliant place to play when it’s like that.”South Africa batsman Hashim Amla: “The wicket has deteriorated a little bit, but Jimmy bowled very well. Those dismissals have put us in a spot of bother. He asked a lot of questions of our batsmen – and when you ask those questions long enough sometimes you get that breakthrough. But Test cricket is a five-day game and there’s a long way to go. Anything can still happen.”
Man of the moment
Indisputably, despite Bairstow’s best efforts, it is Anderson. Bowling from his own end, newly named in his honour the previous day, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker updated his previous Old Trafford Test best figures of four for 118 – modest by his standards – against New Zealand in 2008 with four for 33 so far.
Stat of the day
99 and out. Bairstow became the unlucky 13th England batsman to fall just a single short of his hundred in Tests. Mike Smith and Michael Atherton did so twice each, for good measure, while Geoff Boycott, who was also out once for 99, like Alex Tudor recorded an unbeaten version too.
Last call for openers
Heino Kuhn and Keaton Jennings’ series so far bear uncanny and undesirable similarities. After the South Africa opener’s latest effort, he has 102 runs from seven innings while his former compatriot has 109. Each may have just one last chance to salvage his current tenure.
Tweet of the day
Cricket South Africa’s official account had no issue tempting fate.
England will have their eyes on victory for a 3-1 winning margin in this series. An uncertain weather forecast may be their biggest stumbling block.