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O'Keefe, Smith stretch Australia's lead past 200

Steven Smith scored 57 for Australia in the first innings.
Steven Smith scored 57 for Australia in the first innings.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Sri Lankan XI 229 (O’Keefe 5-43) v
Australians 431-9 (Burns 72)
Tour Match, day two, Colombo

Fifties from Steve O’Keefe and Steven Smith along with a cameo from Mitchell Starc took Australia to 431 for nine and extended their lead over Sri Lankan XI to 202 runs by the end of the second day’s play in the tour match in Colombo.

Australia began on their overnight score of 127 for one. Eight overs into the day’s play, Joe Burns (72) fell and soon Usman Khawaja (31) followed suit.

Despite these initial strikes in the first session, Steve Smith (57) and Adam Voges (43) consolidated the innings with an 88-run stand.

Smith hit six boundaries in his 98-ball knock and completed a fifty. However, Smith and Voges fell in successive overs. Mitchell Marsh (25) also got off to a good start but failed to make it count.

Peter Nevill (25) joined hands with Steve O’Keefe (62 not out) and the pair posted a 51-run stand for the seventh wicket.

Nevill was trapped lbw by Dasun Shanaka (1-55) in the 99th over. O’Keefe continued to offer resistance and giving him excellent support was Mitchell Starc (45).

O’Keefe and Starc scored at over four runs an over in their 59-run stand. Eventually, Shehan Jayasuriya (5-109) went on to complete a five-wicket haul by dismissing Starc and Nathan Lyon (8).

Despite losing partners at the other end in regular intervals, O’Keefe completed his fifty and took Australia to 431 for nine at the end of day two, stretching the lead to a total of 202 runs.

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