Sri Lanka fight back after Starc five wicket haul
Sri Lanka 281 (Mendis 86) v
Australia 54-2 (Warner 42)
Second Test, day one, Galle
After being bowled out for 281 runs in the first innings following a Mitchell Starc five-wicket haul, Sri Lanka fought back to restrict Australia to 54 for two by the end of the first day’s play of the second Test in Galle.
Earlier in the day, a knock of 86 from Kusal Mendis and important innings from Kusal Perera and Angelo Mathews helped Sri Lanka score 281 before being bowled out in 73.1 overs.
Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat first. Vishwa Fernando debuted for Sri Lanka while Jon Holland made his debut for Australia.
Off the very first ball of the day, Dimuth Karunaratne (0) was caught at midwicket off Starc (5-44). Starc also saw the back of Kaushal Silva (5) in the fifth over, leaving Sri Lanka at nine for two.
As the Australian bowlers made it difficult for runs to be scored, Mendis (86) and Kusal Perera (49) dropped anchor and saw out the tricky first hour safely.
Mendis began to accelerate and soon reached his fifty, taking 74 balls to get there. Mendis and Perera brought up the 100-run partnership and took Sri Lanka to 109 for two at the lunch interval.
Two overs post lunch, Perera was caught in the slips off Nathan Lyon (2-78). Mathews (54) started positively with a flurry of boundaries.
In the 43rd over, Mendis was given out LBW but upon review, the ball was found to be missing leg stump and hence the decision was overturned.
The 67-run stand between Mendis and Mathews was broken when Starc had the former caught behind. It was the 100th Test wicket for Starc.
Two overs later, Josh Hazlewood (1-51) dismissed Dinesh Chandimal (5), leaving Sri Lanka five down for 199 runs. At Tea, Sri Lanka were 216 for five.
Mathews completed his fifty in the first over of the final session but edged behind an over later.
Dhananjaya de Silva (37) and Dilruwan Perera (16) took Sri Lanka past the 250-run mark. However, both de Silva and Dhananjaya were dismissed in successive overs.
A little while later, Starc returned and he accounted for Lakshan Sandakan (1) and Rangana Herath (14) in the space of four balls, completing a five-wicket haul in the process. Sri Lanka were bowled out for 281 runs in 73.1 overs.
Like Sri Lanka, Australia lost Joe Burns (0) in the very first over, giving Fernando (1-16) his maiden Test wicket.
However, David Warner (42) played positively and struck seven boundaries, taking Australia past the 50-run mark in the 11th over, along with Usman Khawaja (11 not out).
At the stroke of stumps, Dilruwan (1-14) had Warner caught at first slip, restricting Australia to 54 for two at the end of day two leaving them behind Sri Lanka’s first innings total by 227 runs.
© Cricket World 2016