England needs 8 wickets on the fifth and final day of the third Test against Pakistan to clinch the three-match series 2-0. James Anderson is just one wicket away from reaching the 600th-wicket milestone. Unfortunately, rain has washed the entire morning session of the last day's play.
As of now, the visitors are still 210 runs behind. All they need is to play the remaining overs and not get all out. If rain doesn't stop in time, the match would eventually be considered as a draw.
If that happens, Anderson would have to wait for another series before he could get to the 600th wicket mark. According to BBC, the novel coronavirus pandemic has put England's winter schedule in a dilemma. Hence, it is unclear when Anderson would get his next opportunity to reach the milestone in case this match is abandoned.
On Monday evening, Anderson dismissed Abid Ali to move to 599 Test wickets. Before that, four catches were dropped off the 38-year old's bowling during the first innings. Interestingly, all of these catches were dropped in the space of just 37 deliveries. If those were taken, Anderson could have reached the most coveted milestone on Monday itself. However, fate wasn't quite on his side.
Later, when Pakistan's second innings started, Anderson could not claim more wickets as bad light put an end to day four's play. And now, day five's game is also halted due to rain. The rain has played foul in all of the three Tests this season between England and Pakistan.
The England team is currently 1-0 up and are on the verge of recording their first Test series victory over Pakistan in the last 10 years.
The hosts are currently in the third spot of the ICC World Test Championship. A win in Southampton would see them overtake Australia to move in to second place. But all that will happen only if the match resumes just in time for England so that they can dismiss all the remaining wickets of the visitors.
In the first innings, England had posted a mammoth score of 583/8. After that, Pakistan could manage to score only 273. Now they are 100/2 in the second innings. Anderson had taken five wickets in the first innings.