x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

'Patient' Anderson is an asset says Finn after Jayawardene's ton

Sri Lanka and England share first day honours in the second Test.

COLOMBO // Steven Finn has praised the influence of James Anderson on his fellow bowlers after another dogged showing from the England attack.

Anderson took three wickets with the new ball on day one of the second Test against Sri Lanka, but Mahela Jayawardene's 31st Test century brought the hosts firmly back into the game.

A total of 238 for six meant the honours were shared at stumps. But there is no doubt who Finn feels has been England's most consistent seamer over the past two years.

"Jimmy is an exceptional fast bowler. He knows how to extract the maximum movement, nip and swing in any given conditions," said Finn. "To have him talking to me at mid-off or mid-on, to help me get my mindset right when I'm bowling, definitely helps. I've learnt a lot from Jimmy since I've come in to the team, especially over the last 12 months.

"As a young bowler you can look at him for how he gets his wickets, the places he pitches the ball and how patient he is.

"He doesn't go searching for wickets. He just lets it happen and he's as consistent as he can possibly be. As a bowler that's something you can learn from."

During a 124-run stand between Jayawardene (105) and Thilan Samaraweera (54) the game appeared to be drifting from England, but Finn was relatively buoyant about the tourists' position.

Tim Bresnan removed Samaraweera, Graeme Swann claimed the centurion and Finn struck off the second new ball to see off Prasanna Jayawardene.