Overcoming many a frustration, England fast bowler James Anderson became the fourth player to take 600 wickets in Test cricket during day five of the third Test against Pakistan in Southampton.

The right-arm quick got to the milestone by taking the wicket of Pakistan captain Azhar Ali on Tuesday. He celebrated his achievement by lifting the ball up in his hand after Joe Root picked up a sharp catch in first slip. It was a short ball that reared up quite sharply.

The match ended in a draw. The result saw England win a three-match contest 1-0 – their first Test series success against Pakistan in a decade.

Anderson had match figures of 7/101 when a draw was agreed soon after the game had entered the last hour.

You can watch the 600th wicket here:

Here’s a 9-minute tribute to James Anderson by ECB. What a journey it has been for the England pacer.

Pakistan were at 100/2 in their second innings, trailing England overall by 210 runs at the end of day four. With England on the brink of clinching a first series win over Pakistan in 10 years, rain and wet outfield washed out a large chunk of the final day of English Test summer.

The last day should have got underway at 1000 GMT but, with rain still falling following an overnight downpour, the covers remained in place at the Ageas Bowl and there was no play before lunch. But following three inspections, umpires Richard Illingworth and Michael Gough decided to look again at 1500 GMT, with play getting underway at 1515 GMT.

“It is a massive achievement,” England coach Chris Silverwood said of Anderson’s looming milestone after stumps on Monday. “To finish strong tomorrow and see Jimmy get his 600th would be fantastic. I want to win the game. That’s my first and foremost.”

Anderson started Monday in sight of the 600 mark after taking 5/56 – his 29th five-wicket haul in 156 Tests – during Pakistan’s first-innings 273. He might even have reached the landmark late on Sunday but he was frustrated by a clutch of dropped chances. After another missed catch on day four plus rain meant he endured a frustrating wait.

Anderson made his Test debut in May 2003, with a match against Zimbabwe at Lord’s. He had played his first international game in December 2002 – an ODI against Australia.

The 38-year-old is the highest wicket-taker in Tests among fast bowlers and only has Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan, Australia’s Shane Warne and India’s Anil Kumble ahead of him on the all-time list.

Highest wicket-takers in Test cricket

Player Mat Inns Wkts Ave SR 5 10
M Muralitharan (ICC/SL) 133 230 800 22.72 55.0 67 22
SK Warne (AUS) 145 273 708 25.41 57.4 37 10
A Kumble (INDIA) 132 236 619 29.65 65.9 35 8
JM Anderson (ENG) 156* 291 600 26.76 56.2 29 3
GD McGrath (AUS) 124 243 563 21.64 51.9 29 3
CA Walsh (WI) 132 242 519 24.44 57.8 22 3
SCJ Broad (ENG) 143* 263 514 27.64 56.3 18 3
DW Steyn (SA) 93 171 439 22.95 42.3 26 5
N Kapil Dev (INDIA) 131 227 434 29.64 63.9 23 2
R  Herath (SL) 93 170 433 28.07 60.0 34 9
Scroll sideways to view full table (via ESPNCricinfo)

Anderson has also played 194 One-Day Internationals and 19 T20Is, having taken 269 and 18 wickets respectively in the two white-ball formats. He is widely considered as one of the greatest bowlers to have ever played the game.

“I want to play as long as I possibly can,” Anderson had said after England’s victory in the first Test against Pakistan.

“I’m still hungry to play the game. I think the frustration for me is that after one bad game….the sort of whispers (about retirement) that go around, I don’t think that’s really fair. I don’t think it’s the toughest period of my career. I’m sure I’ll have another bad game in my career. I just don’t want every time I have a bad game for there to be whispers going round that I’m going to pack in.

“I want to be bowling well and contributing to England winning games of cricket. That’s been my focus throughout my career and will continue to be my focus. If I get 600 wickets then great; if I don’t, then I’m happy with what I’ve got.”

Indeed, he now gets to be happy and then some at the end of this English summer, with no more Test cricket scheduled to happen in the short-term future.

(With AFP inputs)

Brief scores:

England 1st Innings 583/8 dec (Z Crawley 267, J Buttler 152)

Pakistan 1st Innings 273 (Azhar Ali 141 no, Mohammad Rizwan 53; J Anderson 5/56)

Pakistan 2nd Innings (following-on) 187-4 (Babar Azam 63 no)

Result: Match drawn

Series: England win three-match series 1-0