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29-Jun-2022 17:54:00 GMT
SL v AUS - 1st Test, Galle, day 1

Five for Lyon as spin dominates action-packed first day

Australia 98 for 3 (Khawaja 47*, Ramesh Mendis 2-35) trail Sri Lanka 212 (Dickwella 58, Mathews 39, Lyon 5-90, Swepson 3-55) by 114 runs

Galle: 13 wickets fell on day one as Australia, led by Nathan Lyon's five-for, bowled Sri Lanka out for 212 before cutting away at 98 runs from the deficit.

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and unsurprisingly, chose to bat in the first Test. Jeffrey Vandersay was rewarded for his great performances in the ODI series and was handed his maiden Test cap.

For Australia, Travis Head passed the fitness Test and made the XI, meaning Glenn Maxwell will have to wait a little longer to play his first Test since 2017.

Pathum Nissanka and Karunaratne got Sri Lanka off to a decent start. Both Cummins and Starc were guilty of bowling a few lose deliveries, which the Sri Lanka openers gladly punished. Nathan Lyon was introduced early but did really bother the pair too much.

Cummins though was persistent in his line outside off stumps and it finally reaped rewards when Nissanka edged one to the keeper, breaking the 38-run opening stand.

Kusal Mendis' stay at the crease didn't last long as he played a rash shot and was out caught at slips.

Veterans Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews steadied the ship after the two quick wickets and were happy rotating the strike and accumulating the occasional boundary.

Together, they took Sri Lanka to lunch at 68/2.

Nathan Lyon broke through immediately after lunch for Australia, dismissing the dangerous Karunaratne with David Warner taking a brilliant diving catch.

His fellow spinner Mitchell Swepson was on a hat-trick a little later, snaring Dhananjaya de Silva and Dinesh Chandimal off consecutive balls. Niroshan Dickwella came out all guns blazing, smashing Lyon for three fours in an over.

However, Cummins persisted with the off-spinner and the decision paid off as he scalped the big wicket of Mathews for 39.

David Warner was still in white-ball mode when he came out to bat, smacking Asitha Fernando for two fours in the very first over. Lasith Embuldeniya was given the same treatment.

The boundaries kept flowing from the bat of Warner and Usman Khawaja, with Australia going at close at more than five runs an over early on. Ramesh Mendis finally got Sri Lanka the much-needed breakthrough, with the arm-ball trapping Warner in front of the stumps.

It looked like Marnus Labuschagne was set at the crease – he picked Embuldeniya apart for two boundaries before a bizarre reverse sweep brought an end to his innings.

A massive confusion between Steve Smith and Khawaja saw the former cover almost three-fourth of the pitch, only to be sent back by the southpaw. Dickwella was quick to the ball and an accurate throw saw Smith back in the pavilion for just 6.

The last five overs of the day was combat by spin, with the ball beating the bat on numerous occasions. Thankfully for Australia, Khawaja and Travis Head managed to survive the period and remained unbeaten at stumps on day one.

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