Sydney Test, Day 1: Bird picks up 4 as Sri Lanka bowled out for 294
Sydney: Paceman Jackson Bird claimed four wickets as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 294 in their first innings in 87.4 overs. Stumps were drawn as soon as the Sri Lankan innings were wrapped up.
Thirrimanne was the highest scorer with a compact 91 while skipper Jayawardene made a fluent 72. They were the only notable contributors from the Sri Lankan side which again looked vulnerable against the Australian pace attack.
Lahiru Thirimanne missed out on a well deserved hundred as he was removed on 91 by off-spinner Nathan Lyon. Thirimanne was really impressive during his fighting knock. He showed a very good temperament and his shot selections were also impeccable. He is surely one who can replace the ageing Jawayardene and Sangakkara in the Sri Lankan Test team.
Soon after his departure, Dhammika Prasad also went to the pavilion. Peter Siddle got his wicket for 2. Another talented young batsman Dinesh Chandimal was playing on 24 as Sri Lanka were 271/7 during the last session of the day 1.
Mitchell Starc struck as Sri Lankan captain-in-waiting Angelo Mathews went for 15. Mathews, who is all set to take the baton from Jayawardene after this Test, edged one from Starc to second slip where retiring Mike Hussey completed a simple catch. Mathews put on a 55-run stand with Thirimannem, who was unbeaten on 75. Sri Lanka were 222/5.
Sri Lankan middle-order batsman Lahiru Thirimanne completed his fifty just after the tea break off 104 balls with seven hits to the fence. The 23-year-old Thirumanne, playing a Test after almost 10 months, came to bat when Sri Lanka were 72/2. He batted with a lot of patience and courage against the Australian pace attack which is in a great form. Sri Lanka were 182/4.
Sri Lanka went to tea at 169/4 in 54.0 overs. Thirimanne was unbeaten on 37 while Angelo Mathews was yet to open his account.
Just when it seemed that Samaraweera and Thirimanne would take the Sri Lankan score past 200, Peter Siddle trapped Samaraweera in front of the wickets for 12. Sri Lanka were 168/4 with Thirimanne unbeaten on 36.
Jayawardene, playing his last Test as the Sri Lankan captain, missed out on a very good Test hundred when he outside-edged one away going delivery from left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc to Michael Clerk at first slip. Jayawardene made a fluent 72 off 110 deliveries with 12 fours and a six. Thilan Samaraweera joined Thirimanne (20*) in the middle. Sri Lanka were 134/3 at that stage.
Skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who has had a sedate series so far, finally came good in this Test. He completed a fine fifty off 77 balls with 10 hits to the fence and helped Sri Lankan cross 100-run mark.
Despite losing opener Dimuth Karunaratne (5) pretty early, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene steadied the Sri Lankan innings with a 46-run stand before the former was caught behind off Jackson Bird, who also took the first wicket. Sri Lanka went to lunch at 80/2 after Australia won and toss and asked the visitors to bat first.
Australia: EJM Cowan, DA Warner, PJ Hughes, MJ Clarke*, MEK Hussey, MS Wade†, MG Johnson, MA Starc, PM Siddle, NM Lyon, JM Bird
Sri Lanka: FDM Karunaratne, TM Dilshan, DPMD Jayawardene*, HDRL Thirimanne, TT Samaraweera, LD Chandimal†, AD Mathews, HMRKB Herath, KTGD Prasad, RAS Lakmal, N Pradeep
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