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Sri Lanka succumb to Australia spin tricks

The visitors were in the box seat once they carved out a first innings lead of 109 in the spin-dominated, low-scoring contest at the Galle International Stadium
Travis Head (left) celebrates after dismissing  Dinesh Chandimal on Friday.
Travis Head (left) celebrates after dismissing Dinesh Chandimal on Friday.
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Reuters   |   Colombo   |   Published 02.07.22, 03:32 AM

Nathan Lyon and part-time spinner Travis Head wrecked Sri Lanka on a treacherous track to help Australia to a 10-wicket win inside three days of the opening Test in Galle on Friday.

The visitors were in the box seat once they carved out a first innings lead of 109 in the spin-dominated, low-scoring contest at the Galle International Stadium.

Lyon (4/31) combined with spin partner Mitchell Swepson (2/34) to mow down the top order and Head polished off their tail to skittle out Sri Lanka for 113 in their second innings.

Opener David Warner needed four balls to seal the win, smashing a six off Ramesh Mendis to bring up the victory. Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne’s 23 was the highest tally on Sri Lanka’s sorry-looking scorecard, with all 10 batsmen dismissed by the spinners.

Lyon finished with a match haul of nine wickets but Cameron Green was named Man of the Match for his score of 77. Australia captain Pat Cummins was pleased that they mastered difficult conditions to fashion “an amazing win”. “Turning up this morning (Friday) I didn’t think it was going to happen that fast,” he said.

“I thought the bravery and the proactiveness shown, especially by our batters, was fantastic.”

Earlier, Australia had added eight runs to their overnight score before losing their last two wickets and being bowled out for 318. Sri Lanka gave an early indication of how they wanted to bat in their second innings, when their openers milked 17 runs from the opening over off Mitchell Starc.

That approach was fraught with risks and when Cummins introduced spin from both ends after three overs, Sri Lanka’s batting order simply caved in. Sri Lanka were without veteran batsman Angelo Mathews who tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday and was substituted by Oshada Fernando.



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