Pallekele - Skipper Steven Smith blamed
Australia's "lack of discipline" on the batting front for the number
one Test team's 106-run shock loss to Sri Lanka in the first match in Pallekele
Australia, who let go of a crucial
first-innings lead in the rain-hit match, were bundled out for 161 on the fifth
and final day in pursuit of a challenging 268-run target.
"We did quite well to bowl them out
for 117, but we lacked a bit of discipline in our batting," Smith, who had
to swallow a bitter first defeat as Test captain in his 12th match, told
"We were in a good position to get a
bigger lead than 86, but didn't get that," said a disappointed Smith.
Australia, who held the advantage for the opening
two days even after scoring 203 in their first innings, were done in by a
century by Kusal Mendis which marked Sri Lanka's turnaround.
Mendis (176) who registered his maiden Test
ton helped Sri Lanka notch up 353 in their second outing and the home spinners
led by Rangana Herath soon took charge.
Herath's four and five wickets in the first
and second innings respectively floored the visiting batsmen on a typical
sub-continent track that assisted spin bowling.
"Kusal Mendis played an outstanding innings
and took the game away from us. 267 against quality spinners was going to be
tough task and we weren't up to that," said Smith.
Smith posted a gritty 55 before Steve
O'Keefe and Peter Nevill frustrated Sri Lanka with a 178-ball partnership that
lasted for over two hours but it only delayed the inevitable.
"Pretty proud about the way Peter
Nevill and Steve O'Keefe fought hard in the end. It wasn't easy. Some balls
were skidding and some were spinning," said Smith.
Smith admitted that Australia, who trail
the three-match series, will have to find a way to tackle the spinning
Australia's last outing to the
sub-continent saw them lose all four Tests against India in 2013 and they also
lost both matches when Pakistan hosted them for a two-Test series in 2014 in
"We have got to find our plans and
find ways to play in these conditions. 1-0 down in a three-match series so have
to turn it around quickly," said Smith.