Match-winner Swann owes it to Anderson

Published: Monday, October 8, 2007, 13:43 [IST]
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Graeme Swann, England's surprise match-winner against Sri Lanka in the third one-day international here, said he owed his success to teammate James Anderson.

Swann rose from virtual anonymity to fame on Sunday with a superb all-round show under pressure which helped his side win back-to-back games for a 2-1 lead in the five-match series against the hosts.

England were wobbling at 107-7 chasing a modest 164-run target before Swann contributed a crucial 25 on a difficult track to help his side win with seven deliveries to spare.

The off-spinner had earlier finished with 4-34 to restrict the hosts in only his fourth one-dayer since making his debut in 2000 in South Africa.

"I sat there before I went out to bat talking to Anderson and he was great because he got me talking all sorts of rubbish to take my mind off the pressure," said man-of-the-match Swann.

"That was perfect for me because it cleared my mind and I just tried to basically keep a cool head."

Swann fell when his team were just 17 short of the target, but Stuart Broad completed the job under lights with a four and a two off Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga.

"I'd have loved to have been there at the end with Broad," said the 28-year-old, who put on a vital 40 runs for the eighth wicket with Broad.

"He's only a young lad, but you could tell he had been there before and he certainly taught an old dog a new trick."

England captain Paul Collingwood lauded his team's character for gaining the lead after losing the opening match.

"It was an exceptional effort full of character and I think every single person went out there and put a lot of pride on their wicket," he said.

"If you can win games from seven or eight down, it's proving we're batting further and further down all the time. It is vital that everybody can hold a bat and perform under those situations and under that pressure."

The England skipper conceded it was not easy batting on a slow pitch where the ball hardly came on to the bat.

"It was a pitch you had to scrap on and we proved we had the scrap in us, that's what took us over that line. To lose the toss, we knew it was going to be difficult to bat under lights," said Collingwood.

"It would have been great to have knocked the runs off three or four down, but that's not the England way."

England had only a solitary one-day success in Sri Lanka, way back in 1982, before their two successive victories.

The remaining two one-dayers will be played in Colombo on Wednesday and Saturday.

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