Despite Sri Lanka winning the toss and captain Mahela Jayawardene scoring an immaculate 105, England’s attack again put in a brilliant performance to keep the home side in check.
James Anderson ripped through the top order, taking three wickets in his first five overs to leave Sri Lanka teetering on 30-3.
“He [James Anderson] is an exceptional bowler and he showed that again today with three early wickets and being consistant throughout the day,” said Finn.
“He’s someone that I’ve looked up to throughout my career and since I’ve come into the team, he’s helped me vastly and hopefully I can still keep learning of him.
“Personally, I think we’ve had a pretty good day of attritional Test cricket. Jayawardene played fantastically well and kept us at bay for a fair spell but I thought we stayed patient and it’s pretty even I’d say.”
Momentum shifted between the two sides throughout the 90 overs, with the tourists on the back-foot after a 124-run stand between Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera (54).
But Graeme Swann picked up Sri Lanka’s captain leg-before, coming around the wicket before Finn had Prasanna Jayawardene caught at slip for seven.
“We’ve got four more wickets to get and that’s the first thing we have to focus on. Then I’m backing all of our batsmen here to cash in,” said Finn.
However, Sri Lanka will retain hope from their performance in the first Test in Galle, where England struggled against spinners Rangana Herath and Suraj Randiv, failing to surpass the 300 mark in either innings.
“We were discussing somewhere around the 300 mark would be a good first-innings score but still, we’ll have to bowl well and create opportunities and then bat well in the second innings as well,” said Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene. “A long way to go but maybe an even day today.”
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