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The six best spells of Stuart Broad's Test career

Broad rising up all-time wicket-takers list

Hit For Six!

Stuart Broad is just three wickets away from becoming the sixth-highest wicket-taker in the history of Test cricket.

The England seamer needs only three more wickets to move ahead of West Indies legend Courtney Walsh (519 Test wickets) in the all-time list, where he will join Glenn McGrath (563) and his England team-mate James Anderson as the three fast bowlers in that top six.

Legendary spinners Anil Kumble (619), Shane Warne (708) and Muttiah Muralitharan (800) make up the top three.

However, Broad’s extraordinary career won’t be remembered solely for the volume of his wickets, but for how he took them. The Englishman has a penchant for explosive spells where he rips apart batting line-ups and decides matches in what seems like the blink of an eye.

So, ahead of Broad joining that all-time top six, we take a look at the six most scintillating spells of his Test career so far.

8/15 - Australia, Trent Bridge, 2015

The iconic Broad spell came on the first morning at Trent Bridge with the Ashes still in the balance.

England went into the fourth Test with a 2-1 series lead but without the injured James Anderson, only for Broad to step up on his home ground and tear through the Australian side in a spell that lasted just 9.3 overs.

Broad removed Chris Rogers and Steve Smith in his very first over of the day, and his near-perfect display of seam bowling in English conditions proved far too good for Australia, who were all out before lunch.

All eight of his wickets were caught in the slips, including a brilliant catch by Ben Stokes that prompted the most memorable pose of Broad’s career.

6/17 - South Africa, Wanderers, 2016

The only spell outside of England in this list, Broad ripped the heart out of South Africa’s second innings to give his side an easy chase to wrap up a famous series win.

The Proteas topped the ICC Test rankings at the time and looked well-placed to give England a tricky fourth-innings chase with the visitors leading the series 1-0.

But Broad found some movement off the Johannesburg pitch to lure opening batter Dean Elgar into an edge to get the ball rolling, and he took the next four wickets for the cost of just one run.

He ended his spell with figures of 6/17 having dismissed all six of South Africa’s frontline batters, and England knocked off the target of 74 to win the series.

6/22 - Australia, Chester-le-Street, 2013 

Broad’s salvo at Trent Bridge two years later is his most famous Ashes moment, but the performance at Durham in 2013 was arguably an even more impressive spell.

The tourists were making a decent fist of a chase of 299, which would have pulled the series back to 2-1. But Broad castled the stumps of Michael Clarke before Steve Smith dragged on to expose the lower order, and he ripped through the tail to win the Ashes for England.

The spell lasted just 9.3 overs, with Broad finishing with 6/22 on a gloomy Durham afternoon.

5/5 - India, Trent Bridge, 2011

England went on to win this series 4-0 on home soil but looked to be in trouble when India threatened to build a huge first-innings lead in the second Test at Trent Bridge.

The score was 267-4, with India already leading by 46, when Broad returned to the attack with the second new ball. First, he lured Yuvraj Singh into an edge through to the keeper, and then he rattled through the middle-to-lower order, taking the first hat-trick of his career before wrapping up the innings when Ishant Sharma gloved a steepling bouncer to short leg.

Broad finished with figures of 6/46, but it was his spell of 5/5 that broke the back of India’s resistance in the series.

5/33 - South Africa, Headingley, 2012

A match that will be remembered more for Kevin Pietersen’s outrageous 149 - and his similarly eyebrow-raising text messages from the England dressing room - was also the scene of one of Broad’s best ever spells.

Broad gave England a sniff of victory with another remarkable barrage on the final day in Leeds, coming on to bowl with the Proteas 205/3 and cruising to what seemed like an inevitable draw.

His wickets of AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Jean-Paul Duminy, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel changed the face of the final afternoon, with England going in search of an unlikely win by throwing Pietersen up the order to try and chase down 253. That plan ultimately didn’t work, but the South African batters won't have forgotten Broad's spell in a hurry.

7/44 - New Zealand, Lord’s, 2013 

A characteristic England batting collapse had left New Zealand with a target of 239 to win the first Test at Lord’s, with almost two days left in the match.

But Broad had other ideas, clean bowling Hamish Rutherford with only his third delivery and not leaving the bowling attack for the remainder of the innings.

Broad’s remarkable assault saw him finish with figures of 7/44 off just 11 overs, including five of the Black Caps’ top six. England went on to win the series 2-0.

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