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STUART BROAD secured his place among the pantheon of pace-bowling greats with a 500th Test wicket on Tuesday before a brilliant five-for from Chris Woakes powered England to a 2-1 series win over the West Indies.
Broad had spent two successive nights lingering on 499 but ensured that his wait would not carry on beyond this third Test, pinning Kraigg Brathwaite lbw in the morning session and even returning to put the finishing touch on the 269-run victory.
Just the seventh bowler in history to reach the landmark, Broad’s first-innings 62 and match figures of 10 for 67 also ensured that England won the last-ever tussle for the soon-to-be-retired Wisden Trophy.
The 34-year-old enjoyed his moment, 13 years and 140 caps in the making, though the eerie silence of a “bio-secured” Old Trafford was hardly befitting of a feat so lofty.
But he will rightly cherish his elevation to an elite group of a seamers that includes his long-time strike partner James Anderson, Courtney Walsh and Glenn McGrath as its only other members.
Woakes remains one of the most skilful operators around, even if he may never reach Broad’s tally. He shouldered the responsibility of driving forward the England cause, taking five for 50 in an unbroken shift that rolled the tourists over for 129 all out.
The West Indies had resumed the day on 10-2 chasing 399 or, more realistically, needing to bat out the day.
But wickets tumbled cheaply, with Woakes claiming those of Jason Holder, Shane Dowrich and Rahkeem Cornwall with three lbws in a row during his decisive afternoon spell.
One last effort was required in the early evening and Broad returned to do it with his first ball, Jermaine Blackwood flapping down leg-side.
Anderson was among the first to congratulate his long-time partner and will have been quick to remind him that they now share another story: his 500th victim was Brathwaite, too, at Lord’s in 2017.
The mixed weather, which stopped play and yielded an early lunch, had offered some optimism for the visitors, but they lacked the fortitude to take advantage.
Captain Jason Holder admitted as much after the match, saying: “We had plenty of stats, plenty of guys with half-centuries, but we didn’t quite kick on.
“The difference with England is when [Ben] Stokes got in, he went big, when [Dom] Sibley got in he went big, and unfortunately we didn’t do that.
“Our bowlers tried in some very tough conditions, but credit to all of them, I must always commend them for the efforts they put in.”
England captain Joe Root paid tribute to Broad’s “unbelievable” efforts, as well as crediting his partner Anderson: “We are looking at two of England’s greatest bowlers of all time and we have got to understand how lucky we are as current players to be playing alongside them.
“There isn’t a better place for a young player to come in and learn their trade, and hopefully it is going to happen for a long time.”
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