Sri Lanka flopped for 212 to the spin of Nathan Lyon who evoked memories of countryman Shane Warne on the opening day of the first Test against Australia at the Galle International Stadium, the venue that Warne became the first bowler in Test cricket history to claim 500 wickets in March 2004. A minute’s silence was observed after the Aussie legend prior to play getting off with the test dedicated to the memory of Warne by Sri Lanka Cricket in recognition of his milestone feat and as much Warne’s help to Sri Lanka following the Tsunami disaster in December the same year.
Sri Lanka, batting first after winning the toss, lost its way despite a fair start by Dimuth Karunaratne and Pathum Nissanka who however, could not convert from the 20’s with the skipper falling for 28 and Nissanka for 23. Australia’s bowlers were on song with Mitchell Starc sending back Kusal Mendis by a peach of a delivery. It opened the gateway for Lyon who ended up with 5 for 90 as the Lankan innings disintegrated. It took lower order batsman stumper Niroshan Dic,kwella to bring some stability to the innings with a run a ball 58 containing 6 boundaries.
Angelo Mathews tight-roped to 39 off 71 but failed to convert to sizable proportions while the next best contribution was 22 by Ramesh Mendis.
Australia had lost 3 wickets including that of David Warner yanked out by Ramesh who took 2 for 35. Usman Khawaja was unbeaten on 47 off 86 inclusive of 5 boundaries.
CHIEF SCORES: Sri Lanka 212 (50 Overs) (Niroshan Dickwella 58, Angelo Mathews 39, Dimuth Karunaratne 28, Pathum Nissanka 23, Ramesh Mendis 22, Nathan Lyon 5/90, Mitchell Swepson 3/55)
Australia 98/3 (25 Overs) (Usman Khawaja n.o. 47, David Warner 23, Ramesh Mendis 2/35).