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Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 – 5 Memorable Moments

The first match of the series between Australia and Sri Lanka looks likely to end much quicker than many of us had expected. Despite winning the toss and batting first, none of the Sri Lankan batsmen were able to add enough runs on the board and ended up getting all out for 117 by the start of the second session of play.

In reply, both the Australian openers were dismissed in the 3rd and 4th over of the innings, but the hosts couldn’t find a way to pick the 3rd wicket one as the Day 1 ended at Australia trailing by 51 runs with 8 wickets in hand.

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1. Sri Lankan top-order collapse:

Dinesh Chandimal
Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal tries to avoid a bouncer. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Sri Lanka would have never imagined of such a miserable start as the Australian pacers struck early in the innings. Dimuth Karunaratne was the first one to be dismissed, who was trapped leg-before-wicket to a delivery which tailed back from Mitchell Starc in the 5th over of the match. Karunaratne reviewed this but had to walk back as it was 3 reds against him in the review.

Kusal Medis came in at no.3 and started off aggressively with a couple of boundaries, but had no reply to a delivery which jacked back from Josh Hazlewood to see the back of him. He was trying to flick it onto the onside but missed it completely. Kaushal Silva, who stayed at the crease for 47 minutes found it hard to negotiate a gentle straight delivery from Hazlewood. This was batman’s mistake, as he came forward and poked at a delivery which he could have easily left alone, however Australia won’t complain.

Also read – Sri Lanka v Australia 1st Test, Day 1 – Statistical Highlights

On a pitch that is expected to offer a lot to the spinners, Australian pacers had given a great start for their spinners to attack.

2. Angelo Mathews:

Angelo Mathews
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews walks from the pitch after being dismissed. (Photo by Sarah Ansell/Getty Images)

After losing three early wickets, it was all about how the experienced pair of Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal would rescue their team from the disastrous situation.

The duo is undoubtedly considered to be the best batting pair in the team and if Sri Lanka had to post a decent total, one of these two had to play a great innings. However, they failed to rise to the occasion as Mathews fell to the left-arm spin of Steve O’Keefe.

O’Keefe tossed it up and he played it more for the loop than the length and ended up being caught at first slip.

Also read – SL v AUS, 1st Test, Day 1 Review: Rains halts play after Sri Lanka tumble

3. The ‘Lyon’ effect:

Nathan Lyon
Australia’s Nathan Lyon reacts after delivering a ball. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lanka were 5 down at Lunch and Nathan Lyon started off the proceeding for Australia in the second session. With the second ball of the session, he claimed the wicket of Dhananjaya de silva for 24. The ball turned into him and took the inside edge onto the pad to present an easy catch for the short-leg fielder.

Dilruwan Perera was the next to depart and Lyon claimed the second wicket of the over. Kusal Perera was aggressive in his 15-ball 20 before he decided to let the ‘arm-delivery’ from Lyon go and clip his off-stump. He expected the ball to turn but it was another bad judgement to a delivery which pitched on the off-stump line.

4. Perfect start for the home side with the ball:

Nuwan Pradeep
Sri Lanka’s Nuwan Pradeep (C) celebrates with teammates after he dismissed Australia’s David Warne. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

After ending their innings for just 117, the hosts wanted to start off well with some wickets and that is exactly how they started off, picking up the wickets of both the Aussie openers inside 5 overs and they were down to 7/2.

David Warner was the first one to go as he dragged on an overpitched delivery on off. Warner was looking to drive but the inward movement from Nuwan Pradeep saw the back of the attacking Australian opener. Joe Burns was the next to go, who played a Rangana Herath delivery for the turn and it clipped the pad but didn’t miss the stumps.

5. Khawaja-Smith stabilize:

Usman Khawaja and Steven Smith
Australia’s Usman Khawaja (L) and captain Steven Smith (R) run between the wickets. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja did the rebuilding work, they played out some deliveries and gradually started to find runs as Sri Lanka switched to defensive field.

Khawaja was not comfortable at the crease early on in the innings as he edged Herath, but fortunately for Australia, it went between the keeper and the first slip. The left hand-right hand pair added 59 runs by Tea on Day 1 and the match was called off as rain washed of rest of day’s play. Khawaja with 25 runs and Smith with 28 runs are unbeaten at the crease and so is Australia’s hope.

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