James Anderson
James Anderson
AFP

England pacer James Anderson on Saturday recorded his best bowling figures in Asia. The bowler recorded the feat on day two of the ongoing second Test against Sri Lanka here at Galle. Anderson finished with figures of 6-40 from 29 overs as the hosts were bundled out for 381 in the first innings.

The 38-year-old took the wickets of Lahiru Thirimanne (43), Kusal Perera (6), Oshando Fernando (0), Angelo Mathews (110), Niroshan Dickwella (92) and Suranga Lakmal (0) in the first innings. This is Anderson's 30th fifer in Test cricket.

During the course of this innings, Anderson also became the oldest bowler to take a five-wicket haul in Asia. He also went past Glenn McGrath (29) in the list of most five-wicket hauls in Test cricket.

Anderson now has 606 wickets in the longest format of the game and he is the fourth-highest wicket-taker in Tests. He is only behind Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Shane Warne (708), and Anil Kumble (619).

The pacer has played 157 Test matches for England and this is the most number of games that a pacer has ever played in the history of Test cricket.

Resuming day two on 229/4, hosts Sri Lanka got off to a bad start as overnight centurion Angelo Mathews (110) was sent back to the pavilion by Anderson. Soon after, Ramesh Mendis was dismissed for a duck by Mark Wood, reducing Sri Lanka to 243/6.

Niroshan Dickwella then found support in Dilruwan Perera and the duo mixed caution with aggression to take the hosts to a position of safety. Both batsmen ensured that Sri Lanka did not lose more wickets before the lunch break, taking the score to 313/6 with Dickwella and Perera batting on 78 and 21 respectively.

In the second session, Anderson took two wickets quite early as he dismissed Niroshan Dickwella (92) and Suranga Lakmal (0). With Dickwella's wicket, Anderson registered his 30th five-wicket haul in Test cricket.

In the end, Perera added some crucial runs to the hosts' total and he went on play a knock of 67 runs. Sri Lanka was finally bundled out for 381 with Anderson being the pick of England bowlers. Mark Wood also took four wickets for England while Dom Bess and Jack Leach went wicketless -- the first time a spinner has not taken a single wicket in an innings of a Test at Galle.

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