James Anderson Surpasses R Ashwin, Sir Ian Botham to Take 28th Fifer in Tests
Anderson completed his 28th fifer when Anrich Nortje nicked one to Ben Stokes at slip for the all-rounder to take an England record five catches as a fielder. © Twitter

At a ripe age of 37, there’s no stopping James Anderson! The England fast bowler surpassed Sir Ian Botham and Ravichandran Ashwin with the most Test fifers as he pocketed a five-wicket haul with figures of 5/40 on Day 3 of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands on Sunday.

Anderson completed his 28th fifer when Anrich Nortje nicked one to Ben Stokes at slip for the all-rounder to take an England record five catches as a fielder. Stokes’ record is also the joint most by any player and the 12th time a fielder had taken five catches in a test innings. The world record is held by South African AB de Villiers, who picked up eight catches.

Meanwhile, Anderson achieved his feat on the third day going past Ashwin and Botham, who had pocketed 27 five-wicket hauls in the longest format. Anderson has now moved to the eighth spot in the list for having most five-wicket hauls in Test cricket. Former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan tops the list with the most number of fifers in Tests as he has achieved the feat 67 times in 133 matches. India’s Anil Kumble is on the fourth spot with 35 five-wicket hauls from 132 matches.

England are 52 for one in their second innings, a lead of 98 with nine wickets remaining, after they bowled their hosts out for 223. Opener Dom Sibley (18 not out) and Joe Denly (9 not out) will resume after the interval as England seek to bat themselves into a winning position in the low-scoring test to tie the four-match series.

Zak Crawley (25) was the only wicket to fall in their second innings as he edged Kagiso Rabada to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock after taking two blows to the body from the fiery South African fast bowler.

England are well poised to build a solid lead on a wicket that is showing some wear and tear, and has significant cracks outside of the right-hander’s off-stump at the Kelvin Grove end. They made short work of wrapping up the South African innings at the start of play, with Rabada (0) out first ball as he nicked Anderson (5-40) to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

South Africa won the first test in Pretoria by 107 runs.