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James Anderson relieved to reach 300 Test wickets at Lord's

Jimmy Anderson took his 300th England Test wicket against New Zealand at Lord's.

James Anderson celebrates at Lord's after joining a very elite club

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James Anderson admitted he was relieved to finally reach 300 Test wickets as England fought back in the first Test with New Zealand.

Anderson had been expected to reach the milestone on the winter tour of New Zealand, but fell two wickets short.

Anderson first dismissed Hamish Rutherford (4), and the magic 300 came up when Peter Fulton nicked him to slip Graeme Swann.

He there became the fourth Englishman to achieve the feat after Fred Trueman, Bob Willis and Sir Ian Botham - the latter two amongst the first to congratulate him.

And Anderson admitted he felt slightly embarrassed to have two boyhood heroes shaking his hand.

"I don't really know how I feel about that. It's quite strange, guys who have done so much in the game and achieved so much - and I watched as a kid - come up and congratulate me on that sort of thing," he said.

"I'm just delighted that I've got there, and hope there is plenty more left to come."

It was fitting too that Swann - a close friend - should be the catcher.

"It's nice to see him hold on to one," Anderson added, with a smile. "It was a really nice moment, and I could see how much it meant to him as well - how pleased he was for me."

Tight contest

Despite Anderson's three wickets, it was the Kiwis who were edging a tight contest after two days - on 153-4 in reply to 232 all out, thanks principally to Tim Southee (4-58) and Ross Taylor (66).

It is 49 years since Yorkshire legend Trueman became the first bowler in the world to reach 300, and promptly predicted anyone who repeated the feat would be "bloody tired".

Anderson though says there is more to come: "I'm feeling okay actually," he said. "I'm not getting that old yet, so I'm feeling pretty good. I think I've got a few more left yet.

"It's been difficult to avoid talk of the 300. So I'm quite happy that it's out of the way now, and I did it early and didn't have to wait around for it.

"We can move on now, and think about something else. I knew I was within touching distance in New Zealand, but obviously it didn't happen.

"You just want to get it out of the way, because you don't want to go through a couple of games not getting wickets."

Southee earlier made good use of the cloudy conditions, and Anderson said he too enjoyed bowling on a typical May day.

"The cloud cover helped - it always does," he added. "We saw the way their guys bowled, really well and made it very difficult for us with a little bit of movement - so we were very encouraged by that."

Taylor was to become victim No 301, but not before he had hit 13 fours in his 72-ball 66.

"He bowled very well and put us under pressure right from the first over," the Kiwi said of Anderson.

"He's coming at you all the time. He can swing it away and bring the ball back - and any bowler who can swing it both ways is going to be difficult and keep you on your toes.

"He probably didn't have the series he would have liked in New Zealand, but in home conditions he bowled very well. He's always asking questions."