‘Ex­cep­tional’ Jimmy lends help­ing And

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - From BOB FLEM­ING in Colombo By FRANK MCCAULEY

STEVEN FINN hailed Jimmy An­der­son’s “ex­cep­tional” abil­ity af­ter Eng­land fought back with two late wick­ets on the first day of the sec­ond Test.

An­der­son had Sri Lanka in trou­ble at 30-3 with an ex­plo­sive open­ing five-over spell be­fore skip­per Ma­hela Jayawar­dene stead­ied the hosts with a knock of 105 – his 31st Test hun­dred.

Thi­lan Sa­ma­raweera added 54 as the home side looked to keep up the pres­sure on Eng­land, who have yet to win a Test this win­ter.

But Graeme Swann re­moved the cen­tu­rion and Finn had Prasanna Jayawar­dene caught be­hind to leave the hosts on 238-6.

Pa­tient

Finn, who took 1-43 on his re­turn to the side fol­low­ing the in­jury to Stu­art Broad, said: “Jimmy is an ex­cep­tional bowler and he showed that again to­day with three early wick­ets and by be­ing con­sis­tent through­out the day. He’s some­one I have looked up to through­out my ca­reer and since I have come into the team he has helped me vastly.

“Hope­fully I will keep learn­ing from him in the fu­ture.

“You have got to be pa­tient, you have to sit in and wait for bats­men to make mis­takes. I think ev­ery bowler has done that.

“We’ve played the pa­tient game and we’ll have to do it to­mor­row as well.”

The Eng­land bowler added: “I think we had a pretty good day. It was a day of at­tri­tional Test cricket.

“Jayawar­dene played fan­tas­ti­cally well and kept us at bay for a fair while, but I felt that we stayed pa­tient and at the end it’s pretty even.

“There were a cou­ple of nerves but I feel as if I have played enough Test cricket, or enough cricket in gen­eral, to use them in a good man­ner.

“I would have liked a cou­ple more wick­ets, but that’s the way it goes.” Pro­lific Jayawar­dene ad­mit­ted that the start had made life dif­fi­cult for his team.

“Los­ing three wick­ets up front put us on the back foot,” he said.

“We have to fight our way back into the game to­mor­row.”

He added that sim­plic­ity is the key to his suc­cess with the bat.

“I just try to keep things very sim­ple,” he said.

“What I do is try to bat the way I want to. I have a game plan and I try to ex­e­cute that.

“The fo­cus has been to do the sim­ple things.” ALAN PARDEW has paid Papiss Cisse the ul­ti­mate Toon trib­ute – com­par­ing him to Alan Shearer.

New­cas­tle boss Pardew ad­mits he’s been stunned by just how quickly the Sene­gal star has set­tled in since his £8.3mil­lion Jan­uary move from Freiburg.

In-form Cisse took his im­pres­sive goal tally to seven in as many games with an ex­pert dou­ble in the 2-0 win over Liver­pool to ce­ment his sta­tus as the lat­est New­cas­tle hero to wear the iconic No.9 jer­sey.

The African ace has some way to go to match Shearer’s phe­nom­e­nal Premier League goalscor­ing record of 260.

Blinked

Shearer (be­low) hit 206 goals in a golden decade with his home­town club be­fore hang­ing up his boots in 2006.

Pardew in­sists Cisse couldn’t have made a bet­ter start to life in the North-east in his bid to fol­low in Shearer’s goal­laden foot­steps.

“You could have blinked and thought it was Alan Shearer against Liver­pool,” said Pardew.

“He put in that sort of per­for­mance.

“I couldn’t pay him a higher trib­ute than that. I’m sure Alan

ROAR POWER: An­der­son dis­misses

Dil­shan

SMASH HIT: Cisse has im­pressed Alan Pardew

and scores against Liver­pool

SHOUT TO GET ’EM: Finn & Prior ap­peal in Colombo

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