Plunkett lays claim to ball ahead of Broad

Liam Plunket celebrates one of his five wickets at Headingley.
Liam Plunket celebrates one of his five wickets at Headingley.
Have your say

LIAM PLUNKETT last night reflected on his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket and declared: “This is just the start”.

The Yorkshire pace bowler took 5-64 from 15.5 overs in just his second game back after a seven-year absence. He believes it can be the springboard to better things.

“I feel like this is just the start,” said Plunkett, whose previous best was 3-17 against the same opponents at Edgbaston in 2006.

“It was important for me to show I can perform at Test level and I think I managed to do that. I feel confident now, whereas when I played Test cricket before I didn’t feel as confident.

“I back myself a lot more now and it was a fantastic feeling to pick up five wickets.”

Plunkett ripped the heart from the Sri Lankan middle-order and even succeeded in upstaging Stuart Broad, who became the first Englishman to take two hat-tricks in Test cricket – three years after he first performed the feat.

Plunkett admitted that he has got the match ball as opposed to his Nottinghamshire colleague.

“I’ve got it, but I’ll cut a bit of the seam off for Stuart,” he joked.

“I didn’t even ask to be honest – I just took the ball.

“Eighteen months ago, I never dreamt that a day like this would happen for me.

“But, as soon as I played last week, I felt a part of the set-up – right from when I turned up at the first net session.”

Plunkett, who took 2-155 on a slow, flat pitch in the first Test at Lord’s, worried the 
Sri Lankans on a quicker surface at Headingley.

Dinesh Chandimal, who hit his team’s second-highest score of 45, said the Middlesbrough-born player – watched by his parents – posed plenty of problems.

“Plunkett bowled well,” said Chandimal. “He gets a bit of extra bounce and he’s totally different to the other fast bowlers.

“At one stage, it looked like we would get 350 or something. But, as a batting unit, we didn’t capitalise and it was very disappointing.”