Australian spinner Nathan Lyon registered his 20th five-fer against Sri Lanka as the visitors took major honours in the opening day of the 1st Test in Galle.
Reporting from Galle
Playing his 109th Test, veteran Lyon took 5 for 90 to restrict Sri Lanka to 212 after the hosts opted to bat first. In reply, Australia finished on 98 for 3 at stumps.
Lyon, together with his spin bowling partner, Mitchell Swepson, who took 3 for 55 made sure Sri Lanka’s strong batting line-up flounder under pressure. Wicket-keeper batter Niroshan Dickwella played a useful, counterattacking 58 for the hosts.
In the opening session, Dimuth Karunaratne and his partner Pathum Nissanka gave a steady start for Sri Lanka against the seamers prompting the visitors to bring Lyon’s off-spin as early as the 6th over in the game.
However, despite getting off to a solid start, Nissanka threw it away when he unnecessarily played away from the body and was caught behind off Pat Cummins, ending the 38-run opening stand. One-drop batter Kusal Mendis lasted only 15 balls before he too drove a widish, full delivery by Mitchell Starc and edged behind to put Sri Lanka in early trouble at 42 for 2.
Karunaratne fell for 28 in the post-lunch session as he was caught by a diving David Warner at slips after the ball deflected off the pads after it took the inside edge. Dhananjaya De Silva and Dinesh Chandimal fell in consecutive deliveries of leg-spinner Swepson as Sri Lanka were 5 down for 97.
Left-handed Dickwella used the regular sweep and the reverse sweep to great effect in his attempt to counterattack the Australian bowlers to reach his fifty in just 42 deliveries.
They were 139 for 6 at one stage when Angelo Mathews fell for 39 and looked like being restricted to below 200 but Dickwella along with Ramesh Mendis added 54 runs for the 7th wicket.
Soon after the tea break, Lyon struck again when he trapped Mendis on the backfoot. It was initially given not out but the decision was overturned through a review. The Aussies didn’t waste many overs to clean up the tail after Dickwella was caught behind courtesy an under edge.
During Australia’s reply, Warner showed an aggressive intent from the 1st ball he faced and looked to dominate the Lankan bowlers. Warner and Khawaja made 47 runs for the first wicket in 9 overs before the former missed a straight one and was caught plumb in front to give Ramesh Mendis his first wicket.
Against the run of play, Marnus Labuschagne reverse-swept one straight to the cover-point fielder as Mendis picked up his second scalp. Sri Lanka found a new life in their bowling and fielding when the big fish Steve Smith was involved in an ugly run-out incident with Khawaja as the visitors were 3 down for 83 with 20 minutes for stumps.
Both Khawaja and number five batter Travis Head survived two stumping chances, but they managed to hold on till stumps. In the final session, 7 wickets fell in total as Australia trail by 114 runs.
Earlier, before start of play, officials from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and Cricket Australia (CA) along with some past Sri Lankan legends such as Arjuna Ranathunga, Muttiah Muralitharan and Aravinda De Silva commemorated late Australian legend Shane Warne, who passed away earlier this year. The two-match Test series is played for the ‘Warne-Muralitharan’ trophy.
Sri Lanka – 212 (59): Niroshan Dickwella 58, Angelo Mathews 39, Dimuth Karunaratne 28, Nathan Lyon 5/90, Mitchell Swepson 3/55.
Australia – 98/3 (25): Usman Khawaja 47*, David Warner 25, Ramesh Mendis 2/35
|Pathum Nissanka||c Alex Carey b Pat Cummins||23||44||3||0||52.27|
|Dimuth Karunaratne||c David Warner b Nathan Lyon||28||84||3||0||33.33|
|Kusal Mendis||c Alex Carey b Mitchell Starc||3||15||0||0||20.00|
|Angelo Mathews||c David Warner b Nathan Lyon||39||71||3||0||54.93|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||c Alex Carey b Mitchell Swepson||14||22||2||0||63.64|
|Dinesh Chandimal||c David Warner b Mitchell Swepson||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Niroshan Dickwella||c Alex Carey b Nathan Lyon||58||59||6||0||98.31|
|Ramesh Mendis||lbw b Nathan Lyon||22||36||3||0||61.11|
|Jeffery Vandersay||c Mitchell Starc b Mitchell Swepson||6||15||1||0||40.00|
|Lasith Embuldeniya||c Usman Khawaja b Nathan Lyon||6||6||0||1||100.00|
|Asitha Fernando||not out||2||1||0||0||200.00|
|Extras||11 (b 5 , lb 6 , nb 0, w 0, pen 0)|
|Total||212/10 (59 Overs, RR: 3.59)|
|Usman Khawaja||c Pathum Nissanka b Jeffery Vandersay||71||130||7||0||54.62|
|David Warner||lbw b Ramesh Mendis||25||24||5||0||104.17|
|Marnus Labuschagne||c Nuwanidu Fernando b Ramesh Mendis||13||19||2||0||68.42|
|Steve Smith||run out ()||6||11||0||0||54.55|
|Travis Head||c & b Dhananjaya de Silva||6||16||0||0||37.50|
|Cameron Green||lbw b Ramesh Mendis||77||109||6||0||70.64|
|Alex Carey||c Dinesh Chandimal b Ramesh Mendis||45||47||6||0||95.74|
|Mitchell Starc||c & b Jeffery Vandersay||10||30||1||0||33.33|
|Pat Cummins||b Avishka Fernando||26||17||1||3||152.94|
|Nathan Lyon||not out||15||20||1||0||75.00|
|Mitchell Swepson||b Avishka Fernando||1||2||0||0||50.00|
|Extras||26 (b 20 , lb 3 , nb 1, w 2, pen 0)|
|Total||321/10 (70.5 Overs, RR: 4.53)|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||5||0||8||1||1.60|
|Pathum Nissanka||lbw b Mitchell Swepson||14||19||1||0||73.68|
|Dimuth Karunaratne||c Alex Carey b Nathan Lyon||23||20||5||0||115.00|
|Kusal Mendis||c Mitchell Swepson b Nathan Lyon||8||15||1||0||53.33|
|Oshada Fernando||c Steve Smith b Mitchell Swepson||12||18||1||1||66.67|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||lbw b Travis Head||11||20||0||0||55.00|
|Dinesh Chandimal||b Travis Head||13||21||1||0||61.90|
|Niroshan Dickwella||c Marnus Labuschagne b Nathan Lyon||3||7||0||0||42.86|
|Ramesh Mendis||c Usman Khawaja b Nathan Lyon||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|Jeffery Vandersay||b Travis Head||8||8||1||0||100.00|
|Lasith Embuldeniya||lbw b Travis Head||0||6||0||0||0.00|
|Asitha Fernando||not out||5||2||1||0||250.00|
|Extras||16 (b 10 , lb 5 , nb 1, w 0, pen 0)|
|Total||113/10 (22.5 Overs, RR: 4.95)|
|David Warner||not out||10||4||1||1||250.00|
|Usman Khawaja||not out||0||0||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||0 (b 0 , lb 0 , nb 0, w 0, pen 0)|
|Total||10/0 (0.4 Overs, RR: 15)|