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Anderson equals Botham's England test wicket record

Jimmy Anderson celebrates his record-equalling strike Credit: PA

Fast bowler Jimmy Anderson joined Sir Ian Botham as England's lead wicket-taker in test matches today.

The veteran paceman claimed Marlon Samuels' scalp this afternoon, bringing him level with Botham, one of the most iconic British cricketing heroes, on 383 wickets.

Anderson, 32, is playing in his 100th test match against the West Indies in Antigua.

Anderson is now 14th in the all-time list, but he has some way to go to catch the most successful test bowler of all time, Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who retired from test matches in 2010 on 800 wickets.

Anderson left waiting to break Botham's record

Anderson found himself stuck on 382. Credit: PA

Record-chasing James Anderson was thwarted on day four of the first Test against the West Indies but a stunning slip catch from Chris Jordan left England on top in Antigua.

When Gary Ballance's fine 122 allowed the tourists to declare just before tea with a lead of 437 it seemed like a memorable evening might be in the offing, Anderson leading the charge as he looked to replace Sir Ian Botham as England's top wicket-taker in Tests.

But Anderson found himself stuck on 382, one behind the mark set by Botham 23 years ago, as Devon Smith (60 not out) took the hosts to 98 for two at stumps.

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Lancashire bowler Anderson wins 100th Test cap

Jimmy Anderson will make his 100th Test appearance for England in their opening encounter with West Indies.

The Lancashire seamer was given a commemorative cap by former England captain Michael Atherton ahead of the game.

Anderson focused on World Cup victory, not Cook

England head to Australia on Tuesday for what they hope will be a victorious World Cup campaign, and quick bowler James Anderson says they have to forget about former captain Alastair Cook.

The Test skipper lost his one-day job last month after five straight losses, with Eoin Morgan stepping up to lead the team down under.

"Alastair Cook is one of my closest friends in cricket and I know he was absolutely shattered to be sacked as England one-day captain," Anderson told the Sun.

Alistair Cook, left, and James Anderson, right, are close friends. Credit: PA

"To change the captain so close to the World Cup was a big call but the selectors clearly felt Cooky's form with the bat had been too poor for too long.

"Whether it was the correct decision remains to be seen. If we win the tournament then, obviously, the decision will have been vindicated.

"I'm gutted for my mate. However, as brutal or heartless as it may sound, I can't go to Australia worrying about how Cooky is feeling or wishing he was with us."

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