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Last Updated:  Saturday, 22 February, 2003, 21:17 GMT

Anderson's star shines bright
By Thrasy Petropoulos
BBC Sport in Port Elizabeth

While Nasser Hussain was busying himself, moving his fielders this way and that in anticipation of the new batsman, James Anderson had a plan of his own.

James Anderson
Anderson's rise to the top has been meteoric

At the top of his run up he had just one thought - that Yousuf Youhana, at the crease because Anderson had just dismissed Inzamam-ul-Haq, would be vulnerable to the yorker.

He moved in, pitched the ball up and swung it through Youhana's defences.

At 17 for three, with two of their best batsmen dismissed for first-ball ducks, Pakistan were sliding headlong to defeat and Anderson was on his way to a second man-of-the match award in three games.

It is a measure of the simplicity of the 20-year-old seamer's game that he recalled Duncan Fletcher's grand plan to dismiss Youhana and executed it with such bloodless efficiency.

"The most impressive thing for me is how he has listened to the coach and put into practice things that we talked about at meetings," Hussain said.

"We had made the point that Yousuf Youhana shuffles across his stumps and it might be worth bowling him an early yorker.

He's gone from Burnley 3rd XI to a regular man-of-the-match winner in World Cup games
England captain Nasser Hussain

"But, to be honest, I had forgotten about it and was busy setting the field from mid-off.

"All credit to him, and all credit to the coach."

Anderson was not so effusive in his assessment.

"At the back of my mind I knew that a few of their batsmen might be susceptible to the yorker. I tried it and it came out perfectly," was as much he could muster.

Despite his modesty, however, Anderson's story is an astonishing one.

"He's gone from Burnley 3rd XI to a regular man-of-the-match winner in World Cup games," Hussain said.

A year ago Anderson was in the indoor nets at Lancashire where his only aspirations would have been of making it into the county first XI.

Then came selection for the Academy, from where he was called up to the Australian tour when Andrew Caddick became injured.

Can he believe what his happening to him?

"Not really. It's gone so quick."

Not for England fans it hasn't.

Links to more England stories


England bowler James Anderson
"We needed to get their batsmen out early to have a chance"

Hussain salutes team effort
22 Feb 03 |  England
England thrash Pakistan
22 Feb 03 |  Team Pages


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