Sri Lanka v England: Anderson salutes ‘brilliant’ Jayawardene

Captain Mahela Jayawardene hits an unbeaten 168 as Sri Lanka reach 289-8 on day one of the first Test with England

Harry Kemble
james anderson
James Anderson took his 250th Test wicket on day one of Test series in Sri Lanka Photo: The Sport Review

james anderson

James Anderson saluted the “brilliant” Mahela Jayawardene for his 168 in Sri Lanka’s opening day total of 289-8 in the two-Test series against England at Galle.

England had Sri Lanka 191-7 at one stage with the home side having lost three wickets in 10 balls in the first session.

However, Sri Lanka’s captain pushed on to score his 30th Test hundred but did offer four chances to the fielding side to take his wicket. None were taken, with England spinner Monty Panesar fluffing two straightforward catches in quick succession.

“We had four catches dropped which was frustrating, Mahela, I thought, played a brilliant innings probably the best Test Innings I have seen,” Anderson said.

“It’s just a shame that we could not finish them off throughout the day.

“I think it is in the balance, if you had given us 290-8 at the start of the day we would have taken it.”

Anderson bowled beautifully with both the new and older ball, and he was rewarded with his 250th Test wicket to put him level with another Lancastrian, Brian Statham, on the all-time England Test wicket-takers’ list.

However, Anderson was keen to remind people of where his focus lay while playing in this match.

“My job is to take wickets and help us win this Test Match and that it all I am concentrating on at the moment,” said the Lancashire bowler.

“Once my career is finished I can look back with fond memories and see where I get to on the list.”

The 29-year-old also singled out Samit Patel’s performance for praise as the Nottinghamshire spin bowler made his England Test debut.

“I thought he did brilliantly,” Anderson added. “It is very nerve racking in your first game and I thought he did exactly what was asked of him from the captain.

“Getting a couple of wickets and a couple of crucial ones actually, breaking partnerships just before the new ball was really just what we needed and all credit for him keeping his head.”

MORE: Get TREBLE the odds on any sports bet. T&Cs apply

MORE: Have your say on Facebook

MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

The Sport Review
Novak Djokovic ends coaching partnership with Boris Becker
The Sport Review
Joshua v Molina betting: Get 3/1 enhanced odds on Joshua to win
The Sport Review
Top 30 highest-paid Premier League players: Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Neymar: 20 photos of Barcelona striker’s beautiful sister
The Sport Review
Top 26 Christian footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man Utd players feature
The Sport Review
Man United WAGs: Meet Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and David De Gea’s girlfriends
The Sport Review
Barcelona player wages 2016: Can you guess how much Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez earn?
The Sport Review
Top 25 Muslim football players in Premier League: Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea stars feature
The Sport Review
15 Chelsea January transfer targets: Di Maria, Hazard, Lukaku, Verratti and more
The Sport Review
Top 25 most stylish footballers: Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Roberto Firmino: 25 photos of the Liverpool forward’s stunning wife
The Sport Review
Jack Wilshere: How I’d feel if Arsenal won Premier League title this season
The Sport Review
Paul Scholes reacts to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s display in Man United’s win at Zorya
The Sport Review
IPTL 2016: World No1 Sania Mirza relishes special homecoming in Hyderabad