New South Wales v England XI, Sydney, 3rd day November 14, 2006

Anderson happy to find his rhythm

Cricinfo staff

James Anderson: in the wickets © Getty Images

James Anderson helped to lift England's spirits on the final day of their three-day warm-up match against New South Wales at Sydney, taking three second-innings wickets to restrict NSW to 194 for 6 at the close.

It was an encouraging performance from Anderson, who has leapfrogged the erratic Sajid Mahmood in England's pecking order for the first Test at Brisbane, and his match figures of 5 for 85 were the best on either side.

"It was quite a slow wicket but luckily for me it swung in the first innings and then reversed in the second so there was always a bit of something there for the bowlers," Anderson said after the game. "We're really happy with the way it went."

Anderson had been struggling for rhythm in the early stages of the match, but found that a switch from the Randwick End soon sorted him out. "The far end was pretty tricky in the first innings, the wind was in my face," he said, "whereas [the Paddington] end is a bit more even and without the wind it was a lot easier."

Overall, it was a satisfactory performance from England, who have put their one-day woes behind them and, for the most part, are finding their form nicely. Kevin Pietersen's 122 was the stand-out performance, but half-centuries from Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook and Andrew Flintoff, plus decent spells for all the key bowlers meant that England would begin their final warm-up, against South Australia on Friday, in good spirits.

"Pretty much everyone's had a decent run-out against very strong opposition as well," Anderson said. "The next game will probably build up the intensity and hopefully I'll get a few more overs in."