JAMES Anderson became the sixth Englishman to take 250 Test wickets as he struck twice in as many balls on day one of the first Test against Sri Lanka.
The “Burnley Express” made the crucial double breakthrough in the third over of the morning, taking the wickets of Lahiru Thirimanne and talisman Kumar Sangakkara for a golden duck.
The 29-year-old took just six balls to defeat his first victim, rapping the left-hander on the pads as he left a straighter delivery previous. England’s appeal was rejected by Bruce Oxenford, with replays also shooting down the claims.
But Anderson needed just two more balls to see off Thirimanne, who sent a thick edge to Graeme Swann at second slip.
The wicket brought up Anderson’s landmark (pictured) and he celebrated in stunning fashion by dismissing Sangakkara with his next ball.
The key man fenced at one he could have left, feeding wicketkeeper Matt Prior the simplest of catches.
Anderson’s total is now 251, and two more will see him overtake fellow Lancastrian Brian Statham in fifth place on England’s all-time list.
The other four to pass 250 Test wickets for England are Derek Underwood, Fred Trueman, Bob Willis and Ian Botham.
Anderson made his Test debut versus Zimbabwe at Lord’s in May, 2003, and he took the opening wicket of Mark Vermeulen in the first innings to secure his first Test wicket.
He went on to claim a five-wicket haul in that innings and has gone on to seal 10 more five-wicket hauls in a single innings in Test matches.