Brisbane - Half-centuries
from Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne put Australia firmly in command
of the day-night Test against Sri Lanka at the Gabba in Brisbane on
SCORECARD: Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st Test
Head hit a Test best 84 and Labuschagne posted 81 as Australia
amassed 323 to hold an imposing 179-run innings lead over the Sri Lanka
after the second day.
Sri Lanka suffered further indignity losing the wicket of Dimuth
Karunaratne on the last ball of the day by Pat Cummins for three as the
tourists had to negotiate a tricky six overs facing the pink ball under
Karunaratne was snapped up behind by Tim Paine as Sri Lanka reached
stumps at 17 for one with Lahiru Thirimanne on six to trail by 162 runs
overall and battling to avoid defeat with three days left.
Head was trapped leg before wicket by Suranga Lakmal, meaning no
Australian batsman has scored a Test century in nine innings against
India and Sri Lanka this summer.
Head sought a review but it sided with the umpire's call and he was on his way, shaking his head.
Labuschagne was out shortly before dinner also with a maiden Test century beckoning.
His patient 150-ball knock ended when he skipped down the wicket to
lift a drive only to find the bottom of his bat and was taken at short
mid-on by Thirimanne off Dhananjaya de Silva.
Sri Lanka grabbed a few wickets towards the end of Australia's
innings. Cummins was unable to get off the mark in 21 balls before he
was squared up by Dushmantha Chameera and tickled a catch behind to
Skipper Paine was out first ball, edging a Lakmal outswinger to Kusal
Mendis at second slip for a splendid low catch and young Test newcomer
Kurtis Patterson showed promising resilience to bat for 82 balls before
he was lbw to Lakmal for 30.
Mitchell Starc hit out lustily for 26 with four fours and a six
before Jhye Richardson was the last wicket to fall for one. Lakmal
finished with five for 75.
Head and Labuschagne put on 166 runs for the fifth wicket to seize
the momentum and put Australia in command after losing two wickets in
the opening session chasing Sri Lanka's modest 144.
Marcus Harris was out in the first over of the day, spooning a cut
shot to Thirimanne at point off Lahiru Kumara for 44 after adding just
four to his overnight score.
Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon was out three overs later for one, caught
at second slip by Mendis off Lakmal, leaving the Australians at 82 for
four in the 29th over.
The Sri Lankans struggled to come to terms with the bouncy Gabba
wicket after winning the toss on Thursday's opening day with only
Dickwella showing any resistance hitting 64 from 78 balls.
Richardson, who only came into the side after Josh Hazlewood was
ruled out with injury, had figures of 3-26 to lead an impressive
Australian display with the ball.
Cummins chimed in to clean up the tail, finishing with 4-39.
The Brisbane Test is the first of a two-match series against Sri Lanka.