Broad and Anderson rip through Sri Lanka innings

It has taken James Anderson and Stuart Broad almost a decade to crack the Headingley code '“ but they did so with a vengeance to cash in on Jonny Bairstow's century as they bowled Sri Lanka out for just 91.

Friday, 20th May 2016, 8:40 pm
Updated Friday, 20th May 2016, 9:46 pm
Jonny Bairstow

England’s outstanding pace pair have been scratching their heads for nine years to work out why they have not been as successful as they might hope at a venue which should be right up their street.

The answer turned out to be embarrassingly simple too, for Anderson especially, as after a change of ends – he from the Football Ground instead of Kirkstall Lane, and Broad vice-versa – they shared nine wickets for 37 runs.

Sri Lanka were duly shot out in 36.4 overs to concede a first-innings deficit of 207 and find themselves following on by the close of day two in this first Investec Test.

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“We’ve hated the place for nine years, so we thought we might as well change ends ... that’s how deeply we think about it ...!” Anderson said, with a smile. “We’ve just had a chat and said ‘it’s taken us nine years to realise we’ve been bowling at the wrong end’.

“We’ve had very, very little success here – our (ground) records are pretty poor.

“So we just thought ‘why not give it a go – there’s nothing to lose really?’”

Broad’s historical Headingley returns are, in fact, more favourable than Anderson’s – including a hat-trick in the defeat against these same opponents two years ago – but the Lancastrian at least is not complaining after finishing with 5-16, having never previously taken more than three in an innings.

“We’re delighted we’ve eventually figured it out, and got some rewards today,” he added.

“The pitch is very different to a normal Headingley one – there’s a bit more in it for the bowlers. When it’s swinging like that, that’s my ideal conditions. I find it a lot of fun.”

Bairstow, arguably, had even more to smile about after making 140 out of England’s 298 – his second Test hundred, and first on the home ground where his late father and fellow Yorkshire wicketkeeper David played for many years – and then holding five catches.

“It’s one of those days that won’t come round too many times, I wouldn’t think,” he said.

“There’s no better place to do it than at your home ground ... it’s been a while coming.”

Bairstow’s mother Janet, who is on the administration staff at Headingley, was present – as when he made his first Test hundred at Cape Town four months ago.

“Mum was here, just up on the third floor – I knew exactly where she was,” he said.

“To make a hundred at your home ground, the history and the heritage not just that Yorkshire and England have here but also family-wise, it’s really pleasing.

“I’m sure mum will have had a glass of wine this afternoon to celebrate.”

Bairstow is relishing his second chance at Test cricket, having had to wait his turn.

“There’s obviously been a lot of hard work over many years,” he said. “I was in the side, got dropped, came back, then didn’t get picked again.

“You learn a lot about yourself when you’re out of the side, wanting to get back to where you potentially could have been.

“It’s a big learning curve ... accepting you potentially didn’t make the most of it.”