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
By 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: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge

BIOGRAPHY: Kepa Arrizabalaga

Exclusive interview
The Sport Review
Exclusive interview: John Barnes on why Roberto Firmino is Liverpool FC’s most important player
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Meet Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s girlfriend Amine Gulse
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
The Sport Review
Meet Chelsea FC star Andreas Christensen’s girlfriend Katrine Friis
The Sport Review
Milestones and memories, with Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, Halep, Radwanska, and more
The Sport Review
Gary Lineker sends message to Mo Salah after Liverpool FC’s 4-0 win at Bournemouth
The Sport Review
Arsenal to consider selling Mesut Ozil in January – report