Sri Lanka prepared a wicket which turned square from ball one. If it was during the era of Muttiah Muralitharan or Rangana Herath the Island nation would have bamboozled the Australians. But on Friday, Sri Lanka received a taste of their own medicine as they were baffled by the visiting spinners, getting bowled out for 113 in 22.5 overs in the second innings, and subsequently losing the first Test by 10 wickets in just 153.2 overs.
Leader of the pack Nathan Lyon finished with a match bag of 9 wickets, while Travis Head, who didn’t have a Test wicket to his name, claimed four for 10 in 17 deliveries to shock the Sri Lanka batters.
Winning the toss skipper Dimuth Karunarathne decided to bat. Lyon got into action almost immediately, ripping off Sri Lanka’s top order cheaply, where only Niroshan Dickwella showed how to bat on the wicket with a counter attacking 58 off 59 before being undone by Lyon.
After making 212 in the first innings, skipper Karunarathne hoped that his spinners would be as effective as their Australian counterparts, but they were mostly taken to the cleaners as Australia smashed them all over the park, with US man Khawaja (71) and Cameron Green (77) scoring half centuries. Both Lasith Embuldeniya and Jeffrey Vandersay were taken for runs. Ramesh Mendis claimed four wickets but it cost him dear as he gave away over 100 runs. Australia scored 321 in 70.5 overs to take a lead of 109 runs in the first innings.
After bowling out Australia on Friday morning, Sri Lanka seems to have taken a lesson from Australia, as they started aggressively from ball one, hammering 17 off the first over bowled by Mitchell Starc. But soon the spinners came in to play.
Lyon claimed 4 for 31 in 11 overs, 2 for 34 for Mitchell Swepson and 4 for 10 in 2.5 overs to Head, to bowl out Sri Lanka for 113. Karunarathne top scored with 23. It was baffling to see the shot selection of Sri Lanka batters, as they found ways to get out in some cases.
Australia were left with a target of just 5 runs in the second innings, and David Warner hammered a four and a six to finish things off.
Angelo Mathews tests
positive for Covid
Sri Lanka started off the day with bad news as Angelo Mathews tested positive for Covid-19. Oshada Fernando was included in the team as Covid-19 replacement. Mathews will be isolated for five days in his room before further assessment.
Australia 1st Innings 321
Australia 2nd Innings (Target 05 runs)
David Warner not out 10
Usman Khawaja not out 00
Total (0 wickets in 0.4 overs) 10
Bowling: Ramesh Mendis 0.4-0-10-0
Sri Lanka 1st Innings 212
Sri Lanka 2nd Innings
P. Nissanka lbw Swepson 14
D. Karunarathne c Carey b Lyon 23
K. Mendis c Swepson b Lyon 08
O. Fernando c Smith b Swepson 12
D. de Silva lbw Head 11
D. Chandimal b Head 13
N. Dickwella c Labuschagne b Lyon 03
R. Mendis c Khawaja b Lyon 00
J. Vandersay b Head 08
L. Embuldeniya lbw Head 00
A. Fernando not out 05
Extras (b10, lb5, nb1) 16
Total (all out in 22.5 overs) 113
Fall of Wickets: 1-37 (Karunaratne, 5.3 ov), 2-39 (Nissanka, 6.5 ov), 3-59 (Mendis, 11.1 ov), 4-63 (Fernando, 12.2 ov), 5-95 (Chandimal, 18.2 ov), 6-96 (de Silva, 18.5 ov), 7-97 (R. Mendis, 19.4 ov), 8-108 (Dickwella, 21.2 ov), 9-108 (Vandersay, 22.1 ov), 10-113 (Embuldeniya, 22.5 ov)
Bowling: Mitchell Starc 2-0-23-0, Nathon Lyon 11-1-31-4, Mitchell Swepson 7-0-34-2, Travis Head 2.5-0-10-4
By Anjana Kaluarachchi in Galle