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Australia dominate Sri Lanka in first Test



Australia's spinners have handed the tourists a 1-0 lead in the two Test series against Sri Lanka, sharing all ten second innings wickets between them as part of a ten wicket triumph at Galle International Cricket Stadium on Friday.


Having taken a 109 run lead on the first innings it was the part time off-spin of Travis Head that broke the back of the Sri Lankan second innings, claiming 4/10 in just 2.5 overs to decimate the middle to lower order of the home side and make a certainty of the result.


Australia began day 3 at 8/313, a lead of 101 after half centuries to Usman Khawaja (71) and Cameron Green (77) on a truncated day two pushed their side ahead.


Paceman Asitha Fernando quickly wrapped up the innings with two wickets in his five balls at the bowling crease, castling Pat Cummins (26) and Mitch Swepson (1) to end the innings at 321, a healthy lead on a tricky pitch.


Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne struck five boundaries from his first nine balls to give the second innings a rollicking start, but Nathan Lyon struck having the left hander caught behind attempting to sweep for 25.


Mitch Swepson struck Pathum Nissanka (14) in front in the next over as the Australian spin twins began to weave their magic, the home side without talisman Angelo Mathews who was replaced by Oshada Fernando having tested positive for covid-19.


Kusal Mendis (8) and Fernando (13) fell to Lyon and Swepson respectively as the home side's top order again faltered, Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya De Silva building a solid partnership to take the score towards 100.


On a wicket offering considerable spin, Australian captain Pat Cummins turned to the part time spin of Travis Head for a breakthrough and the move paid immediate dividends, Head claiming his first Test wicket with a booming off break to bowl Chandimal for 13.


It began a collapse of 6-18 that saw Sri Lanka bundled out for just 113 in 22.5 overs, Head with 4-10 from only 2.5 overs while Lyon finished with nine wickets for the match, claiming 4/31 a second time around and Swepson snaring the other two.


Needing only five runs to win it took Australia only four balls to reach their target, David Warner slapping a four followed by a towering six over midwicket to seal a dominant ten wicket win.


Cameron Green was man of the match for his 77, the top score in the match on a wicket where most batsmen struggled to cope with spin and bounce on offer in another mature knock from the young all-rounder.


The second Test starts at the same venue next Friday.


IMAGE: Yahoo Sport Australia.