MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Jul 28 – Stuart Broad joined one of cricket’s most exclusive clubs when he took his 500th Test wicket as England completed a series-clinching win over the West Indies at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old became just the seventh bowler and fourth pacemen to reach the landmark when he had opener Kraigg Brathwaite plumb lbw for 19 on the fifth day of the third Test.
Broad ended the series when he had Jermaine Blackwood caught behind as the West Indies, set a huge target of 399 for victory, collapsed to a meagre 129 all out in under 38 overs.
Blackwood’s wicket gave Broad a match return of 10-67 in addition to the dashing 62 he made batting at No 10 in England’s first innings 369.
In between Broad’s strikes on Tuesday, fellow paceman Chris Woakes returned innings figures of 5-50.
Victory saw England, who controversially left Broad out of the side that lost the first Test at Southampton by four wickets, complete a 2-1 win in a three-match series and regain the Wisden Trophy they lost in the Caribbean last year.
Man-of-the-match Broad, playing in his 140th Test, had been stranded on 499 wickets when, after he had already taken eight in this match, rain washed out the whole of Monday’s fourth day.
He reached the 500-mark on Tuesday when a full-length ball struck Brathwaite’s back pad, with the opener not bothering to review umpire Michael Gough’s decision.
“It feels amazing,” Broad told Sky Sports of his landmark achievement, which came during a behind closed doors series that marks international cricket’s return from the coronavirus lockdown.
“I’m looking forward to playing in front of crowds again,” added Broad. “I want to say a huge thank you to the West Indies too, the sacrifice they’ve made. This summer wouldn’t be happening without them.”
Broad’s father Chris — a former England opening batsman — was at Old Trafford to witness his son’s achievement in his role as the match referee.
“It was great to have my dad here,” said Broad. “It was special to get 500…It feels great to do it when contributing to a win.”
Brathwaite was also the dismissed batsman when James Anderson, Broad’s longstanding England new-ball colleague, took his 500th Test wicket, at Lord’s in September 2017.
“What a stat that is,” said Broad. “He (Anderson) came to me yesterday when we were batting and said you know who it’s going to be, ‘Kraigg Brathwaite’.”
The only bowlers with more than 600 Test wickets are former spinners — Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Australian Shane Warne (708) and India’s Anil Kumble (619).
The only seamers ahead of Broad are Anderson (589 wickets) and Australia’s Glenn McGrath (563) and the West Indies’ Courtney Walsh (519), both of whom are retired.
– ‘Phenomenal achievement’ –
“We couldn’t be more happy for Stuart Broad,” said England captain Joe Root. “His half-century in the first innings, wickets and then his 500th wicket.
“It’s a phenomenal achievement and it just sums Stuart up.”
Broad’s removal of Brathwaite paved the way for Woakes to excel in seam-bowler friendly conditions that made batting tough.
Both this match, and England’s 113-run win in the second Test at Old Trafford, saw the West Indies fail to give their bowlers enough runs to play with.
“A lot of guys got starts but they didn’t quite go on and that’s the difference,” said West Indies captain Jason Holder.
While England can look forward to a three-Test series with Pakistan, starting at Old Trafford next week, Holder said the West Indies’ future was not so clear-cut.
“We’re not quite sure what’s happening with the calendar, everything is uncertain for us.
“It’s been a blessing to come over here and play some cricket.”
Asked about life in a bio-secure bubble, all-rounder Holder admitted: “It has been mentally challenging. It could be this way for a little while so we’ve got to find a way to make it work but hopefully things start to ease around the world.”