Run-out revelry scuppers West Indies' Anderson guard of honour plans

Bowing out: England great James Anderson is playing his last Test before international retirement against the West Indies at Lord's (Paul ELLIS)
Bowing out: England great James Anderson is playing his last Test before international retirement against the West Indies at Lord's (Paul ELLIS)

West Indies' plan to acknowledge England great James Anderson with a guard of honour fell by the wayside after a rare moment of exuberance at Lord's instead left them celebrating "all the way down to Swiss Cottage" instead.

Anderson walked out to bat on Thursday for what now seems certain to be the final time in his England career -- the West Indies were 171 runs behind with just four wickets standing at stumps on the second day - after talks with team management led him to announce this fixture would be his 188th and last Test.

It has become a tradition for a fielding side to give a guard of honour when a leading opposition cricketer is coming into bat for the final time in a Test.

And that was the West Indies' intention on Thursday before No 11 Anderson walked out to a standing ovation from a capacity crowd at Lord's.

He took the field after a brilliant run out by Mikyle Louis, whose direct hit to dismiss Shoaib Bashir sparked joyous celebrations among the West Indies side.

By the time Anderson, whose 703 Test wickets taken by any fast bowler in the format's history, emerged from the Pavilion, only former West Indies captain Jason Holder was on hand to give the 41-year-old veteran a handshake.

"We spoke about it before he came out to bat, that we were going to give him a guard of honour," said West Indies fast bowler Jayden Seales.

"Obviously the run out took us all the way down to Swiss Cottage (the neighbouring district in northwest London to St John's Wood, in which Lord's is located), so it was pretty hard to do the guard of honour for the great man. Luckily, Jason caught up with him."

- 'Regret' -

Anderson, jokingly nicknamed the 'Burnley Lara' in honour of both his birthplace in northwest England and West Indies batting great Brian Lara, didn't even face a ball on Thursday before debutant Jamie Smith was last man out for an assured 70.

"I think the biggest missed opportunity was not seeing Jimmy face one off their left-arm spinner," said Smith.

"That's the one regret about my innings. I'm a bit disappointed I couldn't hit one more six to allow him his moment.

"It's been an honour play alongside him in my first game. Everyone will miss him when he goes.

"If we're in a position where he has to bat in the second innings I'd be a bit worried, so hopefully he can get wickets with the ball instead."

Anderson, Ben Stokes and debutant fast bowler Gus Atkinson all took two wickets apiece as the West Indies collapsed to 79-6 at Thursday's close after slumping to 121 all out in their first innings of this three-match series.

West Indies struggled to make anything like the impact with the bat as Smith, who hit eight fours and two sixes -- one of which cleared the Tavern Stand.

"I always like to be aggressive, that's the way I want to play my cricket -- on the front foot," he said.