UNITED KINGDOM: England’s James Anderson and Stuart Broad may have “hated” bowling at Headingley, but all it needed was a change of ends to transform their collective fortunes at the ground.
The new-ball duo shared nine wickets as England shot out Sri Lanka for just 91 on Friday’s second day of the first Test at Yorkshire’s headquarters.
Anderson took five for 16 in 11.4 overs and Broad four for 21 in 10.
Sri Lanka, forced to follow-on, were still 206 runs adrift of making England bat again come the close.
Earlier England posted 298 in their first innings, with Jonathan Bairstow making 140 — the Yorkshire wicket-keeper’s first Test century on English soil coming at his home ground.
Bairstow then held five catches as Anderson and Broad swept aside Sri Lanka.
Friday saw Anderson switch to running up the hill from the Football Stand End, with Broad, who did manage a hat-trick during Sri Lanka’s series-clinching win at Headingley two years ago, coming down the slope from the Kirkstall Lane End.
“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!,” said a smiling Anderson.
“We’ve just had a chat and said ‘it’s taken us nine years to realise we’ve been bowling at the wrong end’.
Anderson had never previously managed more than three wickets in a Test innings at Headingley.
“The pitch is very different to a normal Headingley one. There’s a bit more in it for the bowlers,” said Anderson, who plays county cricket for Yorkshire’s arch-rivals Lancashire.
“When it’s swinging like that, that’s my ideal conditions. I find it a lot of fun.”
Bairstow, the son of the late former Yorkshire and England wicket-keeper David Bairstow, also had plenty to enjoy Friday.
“It’s one of those days that won’t come round too many times, I wouldn’t think,” he said.
Both centuries were witnessed by his mother, Janet, who works at Headingley as a cricket administrator for Yorkshire.
“Mum was here, just up on the third floor — I knew exactly where she was,” said Bairstow.
“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.”
So too was being behind the stumps when Anderson and Broad were making the ball dart around.
“With Jimmy and Stuart … when it’s swinging, or there’s anything in the pitch, they find the right place very, very often — and it’s a pleasure to keep to them,” said Bairstow.
Sri Lanka spinner Rangana Herath said his side would need a much-improved top order performance if they were to avoid defeat although, realistically, bad weather looks their best hope of salvaging a draw in the first of this three-Test series.
“We’ll just have to bat really well,” Herath said.
“Conditions were difficult for us, but at the same time it was world-class bowling from Jimmy and Stuart Broad.” – AFP