Sun, 07 Mar 2021

Galle [Sri Lanka], January 23 (ANI): England pacer James Anderson on Saturday said that it was a good effort from his side to restrict Sri Lanka under 400 in the first innings of the ongoing second Test here at Galle.

England had bundled out Sri Lanka for 381 with James Anderson recording his best bowling figures in Asia -- 6/40. Then, Sri Lanka spinner Lasith Embuldeniya made early inroads into the England innings on day two of the ongoing second Test, but skipper Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow ensured the visitors stayed on track. At stumps, England's score reads 98/2, trailing the hosts by 283 runs, with Root (67) and Bairstow (24) at the crease.

"It was a good effort to keep Sri Lanka under 400, I thought the wicket was the flattest yesterday, today as the day went by, it turned a bit more for the spinners, it was a good effort to keep them under 400. We now know that we need to bat big, that's what you have to do in the sub-continent," said Anderson during a virtual press conference after stumps on day two.

"I am thinking I am still someone who can do the job for England, I am feeling as good as I ever have. Really happy with the efforts, all the bowlers put in a good stint. I think it's really important to get a lead if we can, if the pitch deteriorates, we don't want to be chasing a big target. We have to try to bat as well we can," he added.

Anderson finished with figures of 6-40 from 29 overs as the hosts were bundled out for 381 in the first innings. The 38-year-old took the wickets of Lahiru Thirimanne (43), Kusal Perera (6), Oshando Fernando (0), Angelo Mathews (110), Niroshan Dickwella (92), and Suranga Lakmal (0) in the first innings. This is Anderson's 30th fifer in Test cricket.

During the course of this innings, Anderson also became the oldest bowler to take a five-wicket haul in Asia. He also went past Glenn McGrath (29) in the list of most five-wicket hauls in Test cricket.

"I think certainly, the conditions are very different, you do feel like its a bigger achievement, the weather has been a bit hot in the last couple of days, so to get wickets feels very good, couldn't think of a better word than that. I have worked really hard on my fitness in the last 12 months, I am feeling I am in very good shape, it has made it quicker, can't see any reason why I cannot keep on improving," said Anderson.

When asked whether saliva ban is a big issue in the sub-continent, Anderson said: "We did found it tricky in England, we are not struggling to put moisture on the ball here, in England, it was a bit of tricky to start with. But I do not think it is a huge issue, it is not affecting us that much." (ANI)

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