‘Exceptional’ Jimmy lends helping And
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.
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.
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
SMASH HIT: Cisse has impressed Alan Pardew
and scores against Liverpool
SHOUT TO GET ’EM: Finn & Prior appeal in Colombo