Hobart - Australia took the upper hand
against Sri Lanka following half-centuries by Phil Hughes, David Warner
and Michael Clarke on the opening day of first Hobart Test on Friday.
Australians always had the measure of the unthreatening Sri Lankan
bowling attack, but Mahela Jayawardene's team kept a lid on the scoring
rate to just above three runs an over with alert ground fielding.
hit 86 on his Test comeback a year after being sacked for a second
time, while Warner ran himself out for 57 just before lunch.
VIDEO: Australia v Sri Lanka, Day 1, first Test
the close, Australia were 299 for four after winning the toss with
in-form skipper Clarke unbeaten on 70 and veteran Mike Hussey not out 37
in an unbroken 101-run stand.
Clarke in the process raised 1,400 runs for the calendar year, averaging over 116.
Australians are coming off a crushing 309-run loss to world number one
South Africa in Perth and found the sixth-ranked Sri Lankans -- without a
win in 10 Tests in Australia -- less menacing opposition.
batting at number three, was out shortly after tea when he was bowled
by Chanaka Welegedara, ending the comeback batsman's bid for a fourth
The compact left hander showed more patience and
improved shot selection at his latest and third Test recall, batting for
221 minutes and hitting eight fours and an unorthodox slog-sweep six
over deep mid-wicket.
On the way, Hughes had a big let-off on 77 when he was caught behind off a Welegedara no-ball.
Watson, batting in Ricky Ponting's number four spot, made a start
before he fell to a spectacular flying catch by Sri Lankan skipper
The Sri Lankans were up against it when the
captain latched on to a magnificent one-handed catch to dismiss Watson
for 30 nearing tea.
Australia had been sailing along before
Jayawardene's screamer off Welegadara, which left the home side at 183
for three in the 51st over.
Watson had shared in an 86-run stand with Hughs as Australia were looking in command.
Warner was run out in the final over before lunch to take some of the gloss off Australia's solid first morning.
Looking set for a big score, a communication breakdown with Hughes saw him sacrifice his wicket four balls before lunch.
who carried his bat in his first of three Test centuries with an
unbeaten 123 in last year's Hobart loss to New Zealand, played part-time
spinner Tillakaratne Dilshan towards short cover and set off for a
But batting partner Hughes was well down the pitch and
Angelo Mathews had time to lob the ball towards the non-striker's end
with Warner well out of his crease.
Ed Cowan was out to a poor
shot in the sixth over when he attempted to pull Welegedara, only to
hand an easy catch to Eranga at mid-on for four.
Welegedara finished with three wickets for 99 off 20 overs.
It was the first Test for Australia since Ricky Ponting's retirement after a record-equalling 168 Tests.
former skipper was given a lap of honour around Bellerive Oval during
the lunch interval to give his home Tasmanian crowd an opportunity to
pay tribute to his career.