Finn: England have the edge
Steven Finn believes England hold the aces going into the last day of the second npower Test at Lord’s after turning the game in their favour today.
Finn took two wickets today to claim 4-108 as Sri Lanka were reduced from 372 for three overnight to 479 all out - a first-innings deficit of seven - following a rain delay until 1.10pm.
Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott then shared a hundred partnership to recover from the loss of Andrew Strauss for nought. Cook was unbeaten on 61 at stumps in a total of 149 for two - a lead of 156.
Looking back to the end of day two when Sri Lanka were 231 for one, Finn was pleased with England’s advantage if not getting ahead of himself.
“From the position we were in at the end of the second day, we’ve fought back incredibly well,” he said.
“We’re in a great position to push on tomorrow. We’re not looking beyond that first hour, but we’ll look to consolidate in the first hour and push on from there.”
He added: “There's been a huge momentum shift in the game again at the beginning of today. The Sri Lankan batsmen could have come out and could still be batting now and be in a great position.
“But for us to take seven wickets in that afternoon session and be 150 ahead with two down and some of the batsman we have, I think we're in a fantastic position.”
Finn’s fourth wicket, that of Prasanna Jayawardene for 40, made the 22-year-old the youngest England player to take 50 Test wickets.
However, he played down the significance of the achievement, emphasising the importance of the team effort.
“I knew I'd taken 50 wickets but didn't have a clue I was the youngest to do it,” he revealed.
“But that's not something we're very focused on. We're focused on winning games of cricket, and performing as a unit and as a team.
“No one is really interested in their own personal gain; obviously (they are) in their own personal performance, pride in that, and contributing to the team.
“Accolades or stats like that are hugely satisfying, but not something I focus on.”
Part of Finn’s team ethic involved him being padded up to go in as nightwatchman - in place of the injured James Anderson, who usually takes the role - should England have lost a late wicket.
“I had the pads on, the chest pad, thigh pad, the lot, two boxes. I was ready to go out there and do it if I had to,” he said, partly in jest. “But thankfully the two guys out there held their positions and played well.
“I love my batting, and have worked immensely hard on it over the last year to 18 months. I feel like I've improved greatly, and if I'd got out there I'm sure I'd be sitting here as a not-out batsman."