Farbrace commends Plunkett's lead

England

Assistant coach Paul Farbrace appreciated the late success of England's bowling attack, as Sri Lanka slipped to 415 for seven on day three of the first Test at Lord's on Saturday.

Assistant coach Paul Farbrace appreciated the late success of England's bowling attack, as Sri Lanka slipped to 415 for seven on day three of the first Test at Lord's on Saturday.

A pitch proving increasingly docile saw the hosts climb to a formidable 385 for five in response to the hosts' 575 for nine declared, with the left-handed Kumar Sangakkara all but matching the right-handed Joe Root's double-century with a fine 147.

Fast bowlers Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett and spinner Moeen Ali, however, ensured the tourists lost three wickets in quick succession through the closing hour – for a 160-run deficit. Plunkett was particularly key, removing the dangerous Prasanna Jayawardene for due reward.

"We were saying to the bowlers just now what a good effort it was, they've run in and kept going. I think Liam's performance at the end there, a nine-over spell, and in his last over clocking 90 to 93 miles per hour sums up the performance of the day," said Farbrace.

"It is an unresponsive pitch but the key is making sure that we don't get into the frame of mind of talking about no pace, no bounce, just maintaining a good plan. We talked about using the short ball well and got our just rewards."

The English will pursue three quick wickets to counter the opposition's quest for an improbable first-innings on Sunday, when Jordan and company will again have to combat conditions unlikely to bring plenty of assistance for the bowlers.

"Bowlers always want more pace and bounce. The key is it's what we've got and we've got to get on and play. We've got to make sure we bowl according to the surface you have. You will have different surfaces around the world. You don't always get what you want. There's been no moaning, they've just got on with it," added Farbrace.

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