Not even a battling knock by Michael Hussey could prevent Australia’s
batsman handing Sri Lanka the initiative on the opening day of the first
Test in Galle on Wednesday.
Hussey scrapped his way to 95 as
Australia made just 273 after winning the toss and choosing to bat first
at the Galle International Stadium.
Spin bowlers Suraj Randiv
and Rangana Herath did plenty of damage in a worrying sign for
Australia, who have selected debutants Trent Copeland and Nathan Lyon
for the match.
Herath picked up 3-55, all top-order scalps in Shane Watson (22), Michael Clarke (23) and Ricky Ponting (44).
chipped in with 2-76 in a well-disciplined bowling display by the
hosts, with quicks Suranga Lakmal (3-55), Tillakaratne Dilshan (1-22)
and Chanaka Welegedara (1-61) also contributing.
It took just
seven overs for spin to make its presence felt in the three-match
series, with Watson edging Herath’s first ball to wicketkeeper Prasanna
Jayawardene with the score on 28.
Only one other wicket fell in
the morning session, which was delayed by an hour after overnight rain
left the outfield damp, with Phillip Hughes (12) nicking a steeply
bouncing short ball by Suranga Lakmal to Tharanga Paranavitana at first
Herath returned after lunch to remove Clarke and Ponting and put Sri Lanka in control.
was given out LBW after Sri Lanka reviewed a decision to mean he’s now
failed to make a century in his past 20 Test innings.
fell mis-timing a lofted drive to Angelo Mathews at deep mid-off, while
Usman Khawaja, who survived a strong caught behind appeal, was clean
bowled by Chanaka Welegedara for 21 right on tea.
After the final break of the day, wickets continued to fall at