TEST CRICKET

Anderson guides England to innings win over Sri Lanka

James Anderson took 10 wickets in the match as England thrashed Sri Lanka by an innings and 88-runs inside three days in the first Test at Headingley on Saturday.

Anderson guides England to innings win over Sri Lanka
Lee Smith REUTERS

James Anderson took 10 wickets in the match as England thrashed Sri Lanka by an innings and 88-runs inside three days in the first Test at Headingley on Saturday.

Sri Lanka, following on, were dismissed for 119 in their second innings as England went 1-0 up in the three-match series. Lancashire paceman Anderson took five for 29 which, added to his five for 16 in Sri Lanka's meagre first innings 91, gave him match figures of 10 for 45.

England wicket-keeper Jonathan Bairstow was named man-of-the-match for making 140 in England's total of 298 on his Yorkshire home ground and holding nine catches in the game. “It's been a good week for us. The knock from Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales (who made 86) were crucial -- they deserve a lot of credit for the position we got in,” Anderson told Sky Sports. “We were relentless with the ball”.

Bairstow, speaking to BBC Radio, added: “I'm confident and in good form. I enjoy playing here but I wouldn't say it was easy out there”.

England captain Alastair Cook, kept waiting for his 10,000th run in Test cricket after falling for 16, was delighted by his side's dominance. “It was a really good win. Sometimes you take it for granted, but watching Stuart (Broad) and Jimmy go about their business was a pleasure to captain,” said Cook. “Jonny Bairstow was batting on a different wicket to the other 21 players in this match”.

Sri Lanka have just a few days to regroup before the second Test starts at Chester-le-Street on Friday and skipper Angelo Mathews said: “We don't have a lot of time. We have to make that mental change...We have to score runs, that's the bottom line.”

Only Kusal Mendis with 53 offered much in the way of meaningful Sri Lanka defiance with the bat on Saturday. Sri Lanka resumed on one without loss with the overcast conditions that greeted them similar to those in which they had collapsed on Friday.

Dimuth Karunaratne avoided a pair but fell for seven when caught behind after the left-hander got an outside edge to a near-unplayable Anderson ball that bounced and cut away off the seam. Mendis, who like Karunaratne made a first-innings duck, drove both Anderson and fast bowler Steven Finn for well-struck fours.

He also gave two tough chances in the 20s and, off the last ball before lunch, Mendis should have been out when he edged Broad only for third slip James Vince to drop a routine catch. Rain stopped play for more than two hours and when the match resumed, Cook brought on off-spinner Moeen Ali. His second ball saw Mendis get a thin glance, with Bairstow failing to hold the difficult legside chance.

But Cook's gamble was rewarded two balls later when Dinesh Chandimal chopped an intended cut onto his stumps. Mendis, whose innings was a mixture of the streaky and stylish, then clipped Anderson through midwicket for a boundary that saw him complete a 62-ball fifty including 10 fours.

Mathews made a Test-best 160 when Sri Lanka won at Headingley two years ago to claim their first series win in England and he top-scored for the tourists with 34 on Friday. But he only managed five on Saturday before he was caught behind off Broad. And 93 for four became 93 for five after Mendis's luck ran out when, trying to leave an Anderson delivery, he deflected the ball onto his stumps.

Either side of tea, Sri Lanka lost their last seven wickets for 26 runs. Anderson, appropriately, ended the match by clean bowling retreating last man Nuwan Pradeep. England's only major disappointment on Saturday was that Ben Stokes spent most of the day's play off the field with a knee injury suffered while bowling on Friday. The all-rounder is now struggling to be fit for the second Test at his Durham home ground.