Australia Dominate Opening Day In Pallekele

Australia Dominate Opening Day In Pallekele
Australia Dominate Opening Day In Pallekele
©REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte (SRI LANKA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

Sri Lanka 174 (Mathews 58, Harris 3-38) v
Australia 60-0 (Watson 36no)
Second Test, Pallekele, day one

Australia ran amok on the first day of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Pallekele, leaving their hosts desperately chasing the game following another poor showing with the bat.

After being dismissed for just 174, they were then put to the sword by openers Shane Watson and Phillip Hughes, who had quickly breezed to 60 without loss when bad light ended play early.

The day began with Tillakaratne Dilshan winning the toss but after choosing to bat, the day quickly went the wrong way for the home side, both Dilshan (4) and opening partner Tharanga Paranavitana lasting 12 balls before being dismissed - Paranavitana caught by Brad Haddin off Ryan Harris and Dilshan bowled by Trent Copeland.

Copeland, who has made quite an impression since being handed his debut in the first match - won by Australia by 125 runs in Galle - then had Mahela Jayawardene superbly caught by a diving Michael Hussey to leave Sri Lanka reeling at 14 for three.

A partial recovery from Thilan Samaraweera, who made 17, and Kumar Sangakkara's 48, helped them out of immediate danger but two more wickets would fall before lunch when Harris and Haddin combined to remove Samaraweera and Prasanna Jayawardene, who hit 18 in just 15 balls, was caught by Harris off the bowling of off-spinner Nathan Lyon during his first over of the day.

It was proving difficult to keep Harris out of the game and his excellent effort with the ball garnered him figures of three for 38 when he bowled Sri Lankan debutant Seekkuge Prasanna for five later on.

Sangakkara was removed having faced 121 balls and hit seven fours when he failed to survive an over of medium pace from Hussey, who he drove straight into the hands of Hughes at short cover.

It was then left to Angelo Mathews, who battled hard to score 58, to haul Sri Lanka past the 150-mark and he did so by hitting six fours and three sixes in 111 deliveries before he edged Mitchell Johnson to Haddin.

Prasanna, Suraj Randiv nad Chanaka Welagedara all fell for single-figure scores as a rampant Australia finished off Sri Lanka's innings in just 64.1 overs in similar fashion to the way they had in Galle when Sri Lanka were rolled for a meagre 105.

Their performance with the bat might have been excused had they also got among the wickets but Watson and Hughes looked plenty comfortable at the crease, the former hitting six fours in 53 balls and Hughes four in 54. Watson introduced Prasanna to Test cricket by pulling him for four and one straight drive that missed the stumps by inches and raced to the boundary neatly encapsulated the day's play - Australia precise and dominant, Sri Lanka outplayed and in danger of being left behind.

Australia handed a debut to Shaun Marsh, who came into the side as a replacement for Ricky Ponting who has flown home to be with his wife at the birth of their second child, but were otherwise unchanged with Sri Lanka playing Prasanna in place of Rangana Herath.

© Cricket World 2011