Australia’s Tim Paine went for Tails while Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal chose Heads.
Paine won the immunity this time with his left hand as he chose to bat first at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
- Marcus Harris
- Joe Burns
- Usman Khawaja
- Marnus Labuschagne
- Travis Head
- Kurtis Patterson
- Tim Paine, Captain/Wicket-Keeper
- Pat Cummins
- Mitchell Starc
- Jhye Richardson
- Nathan Lyon
Sri Lanka’s Squad
- Dimuth Karunarathe
- Lahiru Thirimanne
- Dinesh Chandimal, Captain
- Kusal Mendis
- Dhananjaya De Silva
- Kusal Perera
- Niroshan Dickwella, Wicket-Keeper
- Dilruwan Perera
- Chamika Karunarathe
- Kasun Rajitha
- Vishwa Fernando
Marcus Harris may have a great start with a cut shot four thanks to his long wait of playing late via a flat bat face.
However, Harris only reached out for the drive without moving his footwork & began to lose its shape.
And he couldn’t believe it when Chamika Karunarathe took the catch at Point having returned upstairs on 11.
Vishwa Fernando became the contributor to this wicket having pitched full and straight at high speed.
It may not be attacking the stumps.
But the pace is there to trick Harris with the loose shot and help Sri Lanka move on the front foot.
Not long later, Fernando again unleashed his fire under his belly when he got rid of Usman Khawaja on a second ball duck.
This time, Fernando is changing the variation towards the off-stump without sacrificing the pace.
Khawaja is making the same mistake as Harris having failed to remain persistent.
The head position is turning sideways as well as the back foot began to lift which affected his ability to throw the drive away for four.
Instead, it’s a nothing reach shot as his bat edged straight to Kusal Mendis at 2nd slip.
Debutant Chamika Karunaratne soon struck down Australia’s 3rd wicket fall in Marnus Labuschagne (six).
The way he pitched up looks straight with a good base in the middle before Labuschagne lunged out for the defense.
It’s a full ball going at high speed which made Labuschagne open that edge as it carried straight to Niroshan Dickwella.
Joe Burns batted on while Travis Head made up lost time from the dismissal of Harris, Khawaja & Labuschagne.
This stand helped Australia move past the 100 run mark going into the lunch break.
Lunch Day 1: Australia 3-103
Sri Lanka’s Take
Sri Lanka made a great start this morning with three wickets in hand from their seamers.
They became flexible in the way they use the length and variation to trick the batsmen.
All it matters is using the pace which helped Sri Lanka rack up Harris and two other top-order men in Khawaja & Labuschagne.
It’s how these batsmen became hesitant or panic to hit big shots into the air which backfired.
However, they ran tired within the last hour with no solutions to break the Burns-Head stand.
So they have a 40-minute break to recharge their batteries before re-firing up in the Afternoon Session.
I cannot believe when Labuschagne, Khawaja, and Harris panicked when they reached out for the full balls.
They think they’ve got the job done when it meant to be a bad ball.
However, the scorching pace the Sri Lankan bowlers added this morning proved them wrong.
You cannot play these into the air shots too early unless you wait as late as possible to make this innings click.
Apart from that, Joe Burns remained patient with his rotation of shots anywhere down the ground.
Burns didn’t have to strike them.
It’s a matter of lateness Burns played proved safe to move forward as he’s on 46* off 68 balls.
That’s good, keep it going and don’t change anything until Burns gets his half-ton then a 100.
The same goes from Travis Head who honed out the basics accurately & scoring runs quickly off a straight bat on 39*.
Head did well as the aggressor when he used his feet nicely to navigate quickfire runs closer to the ball without having to reach out the shot.
It meant perfect placement & intent to help Australia get caught behind Sri Lanka’s hands in this innings.
As long as Australia doesn’t rush too much with the cross-bat shots, then they win the next two sessions.
So recovery of around 300-350 will be good for Australia.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka has to restrict them around 150-200 before they go out to build a more significant batting total than them.
If not, they have a tough road ahead to catch up considering as many as four players of 1st Test recipients forced to sit out due to injury.
The quick wickets they have to pick up for the rest of the day one should prove the critics wrong that it isn’t the case.