Leeds: Jimmy Anderson put on a swing-bowling clinic after Jonny Bairstow struck his second Test century to leave England in complete control of the first Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley. Playing on his home ground, wicketkeeper Bairstow hit 140, 10 short of his Test best, before England was dismissed for 298 after lunch on the second day.
Anderson then exploited overcast conditions to take 5-16, helping bowl out Sri Lanka for 91 in 36.4 overs and becoming in the process the sixth leading wicket-taker in Test history.
Fellow paceman Stuart Broad had 4-21, with England’s swing and seam movement rattling the Sri Lankan batsmen.
England enforced the follow-on, 207 runs ahead, and Sri Lanka were 1-0 when bad light stopped play with 45 minutes remaining. There’s some poor weather forecast over the weekend, which looks to be the tourists’ only hope of saving the first of Three tests.
Bairstow is averaging more than 100 in first-class cricket this season and is making the wicketkeeper position his own in the England team, in competition with Jos Buttler.
He reached his hundred thanks to an overthrow, and punched the air in delight before removing his helmet to take in the applause.
It was the 12th time a Yorkshire player scored a test hundred at Headingley.
Bairstow and opener Alex Hales started the day with England on 171-5, and they extended their sixth-wicket partnership to 139 runs before Hales went for 86, attempting to launch spinner Rangana Herath down the ground. Instead, he sliced the shot to Dushmantha Chameera in the covers.
Chameera then removed Moeen Ali (0) and Stuart Broad (2), before Bairstow and Steven Finn (17) were the last men out. In reply, Sri Lanka lost Dimuth Karunaratne (0), Kaushal Silva (11) and Kusal Mendis (0) in the space of nine balls, and was reeling at 12-3 just before tea. Broad took two of those wickets and Anderson the other, all caught behind by Bairstow to continue his dream day.
Anderson came into his own in an evening session under gloomy skies, beating Sri Lanka’s batsmen all ends up with his outswingers and movement off the seam.
“It was difficult to score if you hit the right areas,” Anderson said.
In removing Angelo Mathews lbw for a team-high 34, Anderson went past India great Kapil Dev on the all-time list of test wicket-takers on 435. Dusan Shanaka and Herath edged Anderson behind in the next 10 balls, leaving England’s most successful test bowler ever with figures of 4-15.
He finished off the innings, too, when Shaminda Eranga clipped a delivery down the leg side for another catch to Bairstow. It was Anderson’s 438th test wicket and the 15th and last wicket of the day, with the players taken off after just two balls of Sri Lanka’s second innings.