Australia bundle out Sri Lanka for 215

Australia bundle out Sri Lanka for 215

February 3, 2019   08:50 am


Mitchell Starc completed a five-wicket haul as Australia bundled out Sri Lanka for 215 to take a first innings lead of 319 on the third day of the second test at Manuka Oval on Sunday.

Sri Lanka succumbed to both spin and a fearsome short-pitched barrage from Australia’s quicks on the third morning, losing six wickets, while another batsman had to retire hurt. Breaching speeds of 150kph, Mitchell Starc delivered the most intimidating bowling of the series so far and picked up his tenth career five-wicket haul for his efforts. He claimed the wickets of Dhananjaya de Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne in the same over to begin Sri Lanka’s day three slide, but it had been Jhye Richardson, who head earlier hit Kusal Perera flush in the helmet, forcing the batsman to retire hurt in the next over, when he began to feel the delayed effects of the blow.

Nathan Lyon and Marnus Labuschagne also claimed a wicket apiece in the half-hour before lunch, hastening Sri Lanka’s nosedive to 215 all out. Although they claimed a 319-run first innings lead, Tim Paine chose not to enforce the follow-on, owing perhaps to the fact that his bowlers had already delivered 68.3 overs, and because it is a hot day in Canberra.

Sri Lanka had begun the day smartly, with Dhananjaya and Kusal hitting early boundaries, as the Australia quicks first employed a plan of bowling fuller, perhaps in the hopes of gleaning some morning movement. Even through this period, though, Sri Lanka did have trouble with Australia’s occasional bouncers. Pat Cummins - who had felled Dimuth on day two - struck Dhananjaya in the helmet in the second over of the day. Kusal also sustained a blow on the glove, as he attempted to fend a bouncer away.

With no movement on offer, Australia began to bowl more short deliveries, and it was then that Sri Lanka ran into trouble. Kusal essentially ducked into a bouncer from Richardson and was struck in the helment next to his right ear - parts of the helmet disintegrating due to the force of the blow. He stayed on his feet and initially continued batting, but felt unwell the following over, and was helped off the field by Sri Lanka’s physio. He did not bat again in the innings.

Dimuth, who was cleared to bat by doctors overnight, resumed his innings and walked straight into a bouncer barrage, but it would be a fuller, wider delivery that eventually got him. He scored the four runs he required to complete a half century, but was caught at gully attempting to flay the fiery Starc through the covers. Earlier in that same over, de Silva had attempted to hook a Starc bouncer, and ended up knocking off his own off bail, unable to control the swing of his bat.

Chamika Karunaratne’s first Test innings lasted only five balls, before he edged a turning Nathan Lyon delivery to leg slip. Niroshan Dickwella batted with characteristic spunk in the approach to lunch, hitting 25 off 22 balls, as he engaged with verbal tussles with the Australia players. He was given out lbw to Labuschagne in the over before lunch. He reviewed the decision, and although there was a faint murmur on Snicko to suggest he may have gloved the ball before it hit his pads, third umpire Marais Erasmus did not see this as sufficient evidence to overturn the on-field decision.

Starc required only three balls after lunch to take the two remaining tail-end wickets.


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