Sidebottom hoping to get stuck in
Ryan Sidebottom is hopeful that England's attack can make inroads on the third day of the second Test against Sri Lanka.
Last Updated: 13/12/07 10:34am
Ryan Sidebottom is hopeful that England's attack can get stuck into Sri Lanka's batsmen on the third day of the second Test after his efforts yielded two early wickets in Sri Lanka's reply in Colombo.
The Nottinghamshire seamer took the early wickets of Upul Tharanga (10) and Kumar Sangakkara (1) to leave the hosts struggling on 25-2 in reply to England's first-innings total of 351 all out.
Both men fell in similar fashion, edging swinging deliveries outside the off-stump in the direction of wicketkeeper Matt Prior - Sangakkara in particular an important wicket following his scores of 92 and 152 in the first Test.
Of Sangakkara's scalp, Sidebottom told Sky Sports 1: "It was nice. He's been troublesome in the last game and he's a fantastic player so it was nice to get his wicket."
And, after his efforts in Kandy - where Sidebottom bowled well but claimed but a single wicket - he also claimed his early breakthrough with the new ball helped ease pressure he had felt coming into the match.
"I bowled pretty well in Kandy in the second innings and I've not taken many wickets so it's nice to get early inroads, the new ball's pretty important because it does flat out as the ball gets older so that's a key area," he added.
Nevertheless, the going later became rather more heavy for Sidebottom, Stuart Broad, Steve Harmison - bowling his first spell in Test cricket since June - and Monty Panesar as a partnership of 83 forged between Michael Vandort and Mahela Jayawardene enabled Sri Lanka to end the day on 105-2.
Sidebottom had earlier teamed up with Prior to help steer England through to their total after the tourists resumed day two on 258-5.
The pair put together a stand of 74, with the wicketkeeper helping England recover from a sluggish start which saw both Paul Collingwood (52) and Stuart Broad (2) depart in the early overs.
Prior eventually made 79 before falling victim to Muttiah Muralitharan, while Sidebottom produced an obdurate effort which yielded 17 runs before becoming the off-spinner's fourth wicket of the innings.
Of his earlier efforts, Sidebottom commented: "I suppose it's just working hard in the nets and batting with a batsman like Matthew who talked me through every ball and trying and concentrate and put a partnership together. So it was nice to stay out there again.
"I'm just happy to try and go out there and score as many runs as I can for the team. It's disappointing that we fell short of 400 but it's still a good score and if we can get early inroads tomorrow morning and get into their middle order then we'll set up for a good game."