Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st Test, Galle, 2nd day September 1, 2011

Debutant Lyon puts Australia in control

66

Australia 273 and 115 for 6 (Clarke 60, Herath 3-51) lead Sri Lanka 105 (Paranavitana 29, Lyon 5-34, Watson 3-11) by 283 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

After eight months of soul-searching, Australian cricket finally has something to be excited about. A few things, in fact: Nathan Lyon's five-wicket haul on debut, including a wicket with his first delivery in Test cricket; the performance of the other debutant, Trent Copeland, who struck with his second ball at international level; and the return to form of the new captain Michael Clarke, whose confident half-century capped off a strong day for his side.

And the most encouraging thing for Australia's fans is that they were in a powerful position to push for victory against Sri Lanka in Galle. Australia closed the second day at 115 for 6, hardly the sort of score most sides would crow about that early in a Test, but on a day when 16 wickets tumbled on a pitch so dusty it was almost a health hazard, Clarke's men were unequivocally on top against a lacklustre Sri Lanka.

Of course, plenty of work remains to be done, and their lead of 283 runs with four wickets in hand is no guarantee of victory against a side boasting batsmen like Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. But the longer the match wears on, the more impressive Australia's first innings of 273 appears, and the hosts will need the biggest total of the match to pinch victory.

After Lyon's spin and Shane Watson's reverse swing demolished Sri Lanka for 105, Australia's top order wobbled and Rangana Herath picked up some late wickets to keep Sri Lanka, at least theoretically, in the contest. When rain forced an early close, Australia were 115 for 6 with Usman Khawaja on 2 and Mitchell Johnson on 3, and they were happy to get off the field after Herath claimed three late wickets.

The most important dismissal was that of Clarke, who had shown his class against spin in compiling 60 from 80 balls. He was nimble on his feet and flicked Herath wristily through midwicket, a shot which VVS Laxman would have been proud of, and he cleared the boundary over mid-off with a wonderful lofted drive against Suraj Randiv.

Eventually, Clarke fell when he top-edged an attempted sweep off Herath, and Michael Hussey (15) departed next ball when he was adjudged caught at bat-pad on review. It was a tough call on Hussey, for while the replays suggested possible contact between glove and ball, the footage was not conclusive but the on-field umpire's not-out decision was overturned.

Herath made it three victims in two overs when Brad Haddin edged to slip for a duck, but Sri Lanka needed a pile of wickets after Australia recovered from 5 for 2 in the fourth over. Shane Watson had fallen off the first ball of the innings, when he slashed Chanaka Welegedara to gully, and soon afterwards Ricky Ponting departed in comical fashion when he miscued a pull off Suranga Lakmal.

Ponting lost his grip as he played the stroke and his bat flew out towards midwicket, and the fielder, Herath, did well to keep his eyes on the ball and completed the take. Phillip Hughes was positive in his 28, but was lbw to Tillakaratne Dilshan when he went for a sweep to a fullish delivery, and HawkEye didn't save him when he asked for a review of Richard Kettleborough's decision.

It was a frenetic final session after Sri Lanka lost all ten of their wickets before tea. Lyon, the offspinner who this time a year ago had not made his state debut and was looking forward to starting a job as an Adelaide Oval groundsman, collected 5 for 34 as Sri Lanka crashed out for their sixth-lowest total in Test history.

The last seven wickets fell in the space of 18 runs, a collapse triggered by an excellent spell of reverse-swing bowling from Watson, who took three wickets in two overs. But it was Lyon's efforts that brought the greatest cheers from the Australia dressing room, not surprisingly given Australia's struggles to find a Test-quality spinner in the post-Warne era.

His first ball in Test cricket was near perfect: it drifted in from around the wicket and turned sharply away from the left-hander, Kumar Sangakkara, whose edge was snapped up beautifully by a diving Clarke at first slip. Only Arthur Conington in the 1890s had taken a wicket with his first Test delivery, and he finished his career with two. Lyon had five by the end of the day.

He was helped by some below-par batting, but Lyon was still impressive in the bounce and spin he extracted, in an era when many Australian tweakers push the ball through too quickly. Angelo Mathews was bowled behind his legs when he missed an attempted sweep, Herath was caught in the deep off a slog sweep, and Randiv was sharply taken by Ponting at midwicket.

Lyon completed his five-for with a terrific return catch high to his right to remove Welegedara, and he led Australia off the field in the knowledge the Test spin position was now his to lose. While Lyon was the star, it was Watson's spell to the middle order that really rattled Sri Lanka.

Watson tailed the ball dangerously with reverse swing and had Thilan Samaraweera (26) and Prasanna Jayawardene both trapped lbw in one over. In his next he came around the wicket to Tharanga Paranavitana, Sri Lanka's top scorer with 29 off 115 deliveries, and swung the ball in for another clear lbw.

Paranavitana and Samaraweera had steadied the innings somewhat with a 43-run stand after Australia picked up three early wickets. Mahela Jayawardene (11) was run out when Paranavitana pushed to the off side and Copeland backhanded a return to Brad Haddin, a piece of fielding reminiscent of Mark Waugh at his best.

Both batsmen had been ball-watching, hesitating in the middle of the pitch, and replays confirmed Jayawardene was a few centimetres short when Haddin whipped off the bails. As if to highlight how off the pace Sri Lanka were, Paranavitana might have been run out had Jayawardene made his ground; while Australia appealed, he loitered in the middle of the pitch and a return to the bowler's end could have ended his stay.

It was the second celebration for Copeland. His first ball in Test cricket was driven through cover for four by Dilshan, but his second brought a breakthrough when Dilshan flashed irresponsibly and was brilliantly snapped up by Ponting at short cover. The dismissal summed up the day; Sri Lanka lacked application and Australia made the most of their chances.

Now Australia need to make the most of their strong position. A 1-0 series lead is theirs for the taking.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • veerakannadiga on September 3, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    well done Australia. I am an Indian/Rahul Dravid supporter, but I still feel that Australia are the best(other than 20-20) in the world. That India was No.1 for a couple of years,was more due to our persistance at not loosing tests, rather than winning matches. Sad but true.Though England are No.1 in tests, at present, they won't stay there for long. Australia is coming hard at everybody. Watch out England.Most/all of the teams in the world (including India & Pakistan) find it either hard or impossible to beat SL in SL. As far as SL is concerned, welcome on board, you are losing your touch(just as we are). Days are not far ahead when Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will beat you. Bring back Vaas, Murali and Jayasurya.

  • on September 2, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    Dilshan should dropped back to 6th and Mathews should kick out of the team and let Lahiru Thirimanne to open the inning with Paranavitharana.. Otherwise this will be a another bitter series for Sri Lanka cricket .. We've lost to England both ODI and Test and now its against Australia And its getting annoying now.. So better fix our moods back to winning position.. Good Luck SL .. \m/ !!

  • DamieninFrance on September 2, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    Seriously - How good is this! A test match with drama is so much more enjoyable than watching batting practice. Bowlers have had to exhibit a different set of skills than just the reliance on pace and early swing. All of a sudden, bowlers have been thinking about how to wear the ball to achieve reverse, while batsmen have had to showcase their footwork. Quite frankly, I think this sort of test makes for outstanding cricket. I'd love to hear of teams considering the use of up to 3 spinners for a change. Think of it - one of the reasons that spinners are harder to find is that they have less chance of being selected in a 'traditional' team make-up. If we get more pitches like this, you'll get the best batsmen showing their class, and spin will get as much attention as pace. Congratulations to the Curator for being brave enough to prepare this sort of pitch. I want more!

  • on September 2, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Infact their are another 12 guys between Nathan Lyon and Arthur Conington who have taken wicket on the first ball of a test career...Coverdale may have forgotten to mention that these 2 are the only australians to achieve this feat..

  • CandidIndian on September 2, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    @Srilankan friends-As an Indian i am backing up SL as they are our very good friends,as far as this match is concerned SL can still do well,Aussies almost won against our team(India) in opening match of their last tour,but Laxman and Ishant showed resilience and won the match for India .Same can be expected from Sanga and Mahela,,i am very optimistic about comeback by SL.Having said that i can see IPL badly affecting the players which took part in it, it has affected India badly (whitewash in Eng) and to an extent its effect can be seen on SL players too.Not including Mendis on this pitch was surprising, i hope he plays next match.All the best to SL fans.

  • landl47 on September 2, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    Just to make it clear, Conington was the only other Australian to take a wicket with his first ball in test cricket. Lyon was the 14th overall to do it. This article isn't very well worded and gives the impression that Conington was the only other bowler, rather than just the only other Australian bowler, to do it.

  • on September 2, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    Well done Aussie's...SL played like Amateurs and nothing different to India against the Englishman…….Dilshan, Sanga, Mahela needs a kick up their butts as they not hungry for those runs anymore or should be dropped if they don't perform in any one series if SL cricket is to think of the future, they are professionals and a bad pitch is not a excuse for bad batting.

  • mohsin9975 on September 2, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    I think author wanted to say that lyon is the 2nd aussie to take 1st ball wicket on debut nd not 2nd debutant in d world. Having said that i think we need to assess him on flatter tracks than on a minefield to form an opinion which i m sure he sl will throw at the aussies in the next 2 tests

  • on September 2, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    The problem with srilanka they either try to be 2much agressive just like dilshan who is still in t20 mode..or they become 2much defensive and start 2 panic..moreover their own designer pitch shook them off

  • on September 2, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    I really respect Brydon Coverdale ...but he needs to check with his fleet of archive keepers ... Arthur Conington in the 1890s is not the only one to take wicket on first ball of test career...Intikhab Alam was another one to achieve this feat in 1959.He clean bowled Colin McDonald with his first delievry of his test career in a Pakistan vs Australia match..

  • veerakannadiga on September 3, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    well done Australia. I am an Indian/Rahul Dravid supporter, but I still feel that Australia are the best(other than 20-20) in the world. That India was No.1 for a couple of years,was more due to our persistance at not loosing tests, rather than winning matches. Sad but true.Though England are No.1 in tests, at present, they won't stay there for long. Australia is coming hard at everybody. Watch out England.Most/all of the teams in the world (including India & Pakistan) find it either hard or impossible to beat SL in SL. As far as SL is concerned, welcome on board, you are losing your touch(just as we are). Days are not far ahead when Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will beat you. Bring back Vaas, Murali and Jayasurya.

  • on September 2, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    Dilshan should dropped back to 6th and Mathews should kick out of the team and let Lahiru Thirimanne to open the inning with Paranavitharana.. Otherwise this will be a another bitter series for Sri Lanka cricket .. We've lost to England both ODI and Test and now its against Australia And its getting annoying now.. So better fix our moods back to winning position.. Good Luck SL .. \m/ !!

  • DamieninFrance on September 2, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    Seriously - How good is this! A test match with drama is so much more enjoyable than watching batting practice. Bowlers have had to exhibit a different set of skills than just the reliance on pace and early swing. All of a sudden, bowlers have been thinking about how to wear the ball to achieve reverse, while batsmen have had to showcase their footwork. Quite frankly, I think this sort of test makes for outstanding cricket. I'd love to hear of teams considering the use of up to 3 spinners for a change. Think of it - one of the reasons that spinners are harder to find is that they have less chance of being selected in a 'traditional' team make-up. If we get more pitches like this, you'll get the best batsmen showing their class, and spin will get as much attention as pace. Congratulations to the Curator for being brave enough to prepare this sort of pitch. I want more!

  • on September 2, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Infact their are another 12 guys between Nathan Lyon and Arthur Conington who have taken wicket on the first ball of a test career...Coverdale may have forgotten to mention that these 2 are the only australians to achieve this feat..

  • CandidIndian on September 2, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    @Srilankan friends-As an Indian i am backing up SL as they are our very good friends,as far as this match is concerned SL can still do well,Aussies almost won against our team(India) in opening match of their last tour,but Laxman and Ishant showed resilience and won the match for India .Same can be expected from Sanga and Mahela,,i am very optimistic about comeback by SL.Having said that i can see IPL badly affecting the players which took part in it, it has affected India badly (whitewash in Eng) and to an extent its effect can be seen on SL players too.Not including Mendis on this pitch was surprising, i hope he plays next match.All the best to SL fans.

  • landl47 on September 2, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    Just to make it clear, Conington was the only other Australian to take a wicket with his first ball in test cricket. Lyon was the 14th overall to do it. This article isn't very well worded and gives the impression that Conington was the only other bowler, rather than just the only other Australian bowler, to do it.

  • on September 2, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    Well done Aussie's...SL played like Amateurs and nothing different to India against the Englishman…….Dilshan, Sanga, Mahela needs a kick up their butts as they not hungry for those runs anymore or should be dropped if they don't perform in any one series if SL cricket is to think of the future, they are professionals and a bad pitch is not a excuse for bad batting.

  • mohsin9975 on September 2, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    I think author wanted to say that lyon is the 2nd aussie to take 1st ball wicket on debut nd not 2nd debutant in d world. Having said that i think we need to assess him on flatter tracks than on a minefield to form an opinion which i m sure he sl will throw at the aussies in the next 2 tests

  • on September 2, 2011, 3:58 GMT

    The problem with srilanka they either try to be 2much agressive just like dilshan who is still in t20 mode..or they become 2much defensive and start 2 panic..moreover their own designer pitch shook them off

  • on September 2, 2011, 3:48 GMT

    I really respect Brydon Coverdale ...but he needs to check with his fleet of archive keepers ... Arthur Conington in the 1890s is not the only one to take wicket on first ball of test career...Intikhab Alam was another one to achieve this feat in 1959.He clean bowled Colin McDonald with his first delievry of his test career in a Pakistan vs Australia match..

  • Punxsutawny_Phil on September 2, 2011, 3:44 GMT

    edit: should read "even the best judge of a player can't get it right without data to back up their suspicions"

  • dsig3 on September 2, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Will be interesting to see how far, if at all this pitch degrades. I think Sri-Lanka will bat a bit better in the second innings but I have a funny feeling that Johnson is due for a match winning performance. The planets may be aligned just right and on this pitch Johnson will be a nasty prospect if in rhythm. At least it is a bit easier to stomach Johnsons inconsistencies when you have someone like Copeland in the team. Something tells me Siddle will be carrying the drinks for a while.

  • mohsin9975 on September 2, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    Sri lanka seems to hav hit themselves in the foot. Their plan was to win the first match on a rank turner nd then try to force victories or probably draw in the remaining ones with aus under pressure to win. Is the pitch really misbehaving or is it lack of skills of the sl batsmen on a turner?

  • Punxsutawny_Phil on September 2, 2011, 2:46 GMT

    One test innings tells us nothing about Lyon's long term future, but kudos to the lad and I wish him well- god knows we need a quality spinner. The issue is less with him than it is with the process that selected him: guesswork can occasionally get it right but it's not a great foundation for an ongoing policy. His choice was made on the back of minimal performance history and even the best judge of a player can get it right without data to back up their suspicions.

  • jfgvjksnkka on September 2, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    kickittome70 are you being serious or sarcastic? Without Clarkes runs in the 2nd dig we would be 6/55 (probably much worse) and SL would have a much better chance than they do now. Just about all test batsmen average more in the 1st innings because there is much less pressure.

  • Marcio on September 2, 2011, 1:55 GMT

    This was simply an excellent performance from Australia, even with the loss of three wickets at the death. They were positive all day. Australia really deserve to win the game. It will take a miracle for SL to score 300 in the last dig. They will have no choice but to come out and play very attacking shots, because its just a matter of time before a ball does something and the slower you go the more dodgy deliveries you have to face. With bowlers like Harris and Copeland, who are accurate and tight, I can't see SL escaping this one. They will simply put it on the spot and the pitch will do the rest. Time will tell with Lyon. He bowled really well, but he won't get to bowl on too many pitches like this in his career! The SL batsmen will also study video of him, so it will be much harder for him in the games to follow. Excellent performance by AUS, even though the toss basically decided the game.

  • kickittome70 on September 2, 2011, 1:54 GMT

    Typical Clarke - no pressure, easy 2nd innings runs. Punters 44 in the 1st innings is far more valuable in the context of test cricket, though Pup is a far more creative and attacking skipper then what was to become a very dour, predictable and conservative style of poor captaincy. First innings runs and under pressure success is what Clarke needs to establish himself The lankans are gone. Funny reading the guys here who reckon we need 400. It proves that you can take an interest in the game without knowing anything about it. Put yourself in Sangys shoes walking in 2 down needing 275. It just aint gonna happen folks - Aussies by 168 runs.

  • Mad_Hamish on September 2, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    As far as the pitch goes when you're getting variable bounce and huge puffs of dust on day 1 it's a bad pitch. Something for the bowlers is desirable but this pitch is going too far (saying that it does show how well Hussey and Clarke batted in the 1st & 2nd innings respectively to make runs on it) Lyon and Copeland will have to show what they can do in less helpful conditions to show they belong at test level. Lyon seems to get nice drop and enough spin on the ball to be useful but he's going to have to show what he can do on less friendly pitches. Copeland I'm not convinced about yet, to me he looks more like Stuart Clark after shoulder problems when he was caned on anything below a greentop than he does Stuart Clark before the shoulder problems but time will tell. Watson got wickets with reverse swing and a couple of balls keeping low so not hugely down to the pitch. There are still a lot of questions about the Australian team that have to be answered.

  • on September 2, 2011, 1:04 GMT

    Funny, Where is SriLankan Batsman. They play school cricket. Now they realize IPL kill them. Where is Angelo Mathews responsibility. What is captain doing. Dilshan is a one day opener not a test opener. We need two test operners and Dilsan should be bat at no 5 or 6. Drop Angelo mathew. No benifit from him. They should learn leson from England & Australian team. Forget now. Try to 2nd test match.

  • 123papafrita on September 2, 2011, 0:18 GMT

    what a wonderful two days of cricket.. Australia have been very good with their bowling and copelands second wicket agasint dilshan was great!!!. and sangakarrra got out first ball to lyon.. a legend like sangakarrra wow... why do i get the feeling that this test math is Australia'.s .. it is a new era yeah!!!

  • RandyOZ on September 2, 2011, 0:06 GMT

    One ball frmo Herath I almost lost Clarke in the dust cloud. Very good bowling by our unit. I think Harris and Johnson also bowled well without luck. Harris' line and length was impeccable. Huseey's dismissal was a disgrace. SL must be praynig for rain!

  • hyclass on September 1, 2011, 23:55 GMT

    chicko1983...real deal based on what? Before this game,he had 14 1st class wickets at 45.57 from 5 matches. Mike Hussey,who has played everywhere in the world and has 32000 runs in 1st class cricket and List A, described this wicket as the driest he'd ever seen. A trained chimpanzee could have taken wickets on it. The home team, accustomed to turning wickets, battled for 50 overs to make 105. The wicket is so bad, that many SL are now venting their anger. Like Krezja before him, lets see how Lyon does on a flat wicket. If hes good enough,then his long term record will show it, but 5 games and then a Test is little more than a wild guess. If that policy of selection was continued with,then all the high performing long term players would give up and retire. The so-called Lyon doubters,were also Beer,Doherty and Krezja doubters.Were they wrong to be?They were people who believe in fair play and selecting guys like O'Keefe and Hauritz on performance,which used to be the Australian way.

  • D.V.C. on September 1, 2011, 23:36 GMT

    @chicko: Weather!? With 3 full days to go? Are you kidding?

  • chicko1983 on September 1, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    Funny how the Lyon doubters are a bit quiet now. Any Redbacks fan knew he was the real deal when he played for us last year. And yes Australia is in control. The highest winning 4th inning at Galle is 96! A save is possible with weather in their favour, but Australia is definitely in control.

  • Buggsy on September 1, 2011, 22:11 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster, Sri Lankans don't give excuses. They're one of the few nations who take it on the chin. They might lose this test match but they'll do it with grace. Anyway it's great to see a result pitch, the curator might have gone a little too far but it's still exciting viewing. I'd take a two day 'minefield' any day over a resultless flat track.

  • dsig3 on September 1, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    Damn, just realised Dilshan slapped a four first ball, silly me.

  • dsig3 on September 1, 2011, 21:29 GMT

    A few more runs and then put Sri Lanka to the sword. Looking forward to it. We have been in similar situations before and been unable to bowl out the opposition. I dont think that will be happening on this pitch. Its strange how Sri-Lanka can only produce either abominations or featherbeds in terms of batting tracks. Cant be helping their cricket. This is a fantastic pitch as long as you win the toss (which we did). Dilshan for the pair, who's with me?????

  • on September 1, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    I find it funny that the article says AUS is in control. They are in a GOOD postition but not in control. If SL get them out for under 400 they can can win this match.

  • Mutukisna on September 1, 2011, 20:17 GMT

    SL have batted badly on home ground. The silly run out of Mahela, the irresponsible batting of Matthews (he is qualifying to be dropped as he is now making no contribution) and the showing of too much respect to the debutant Lyon. This test match is already lost. I never expected SL to get 20 wickets in a test match with their current bowling attack but they will this time given the dust bowl of a pitch. In the second innings, we need Dilshan to play his normal game and Paranvithana to play his solid sheet anchor role to give SL at least a century opening stand in order to produce a most unlikely victory. For the second and third tests SL should play Seekuge Prasanna and Ajantha Mendis dropping vice captain Matthews and Randiv forgetting about a so called balanced team.

  • Jonah58 on September 1, 2011, 20:15 GMT

    @samincolumbia i do believe that Sri Lanka won the ODi world cup in 1996 away from home. i was led to believe that was a significant win?

  • on September 1, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    This type of wicket , India would be all out in both innings under 100 against any team.

  • RajasH on September 1, 2011, 19:48 GMT

    someone asked why was Ernga and Mendis dropped as long as politics determine selection policy Sri Lanka will continue to perofrm like this.

  • BravoBravo on September 1, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    @Capt.Meanster-- Excuses are meant only exclusively for one team, that is IND (dethroned from their doubtful #1 ranking). No other team in whole wide world generate so many silly excuses as they do after white wash/defeats (which happen on very regular basis). AND that is sign of being IND nothing more than an ordinary team. SL is an sporting team, Win or Loose, they will be sporting and they won't be white washed by AUS or ENG. Good Luck SL.

  • tjsimonsen on September 1, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    Well, well, well. A gripping day of test cricket. I'm dissapointed by SL's batsmen, but it's good to see Aus fighting - although their batting still seems somewhat fragile and a cause for concern. Good to see a bowlers' wicket and not a mindless run fest.

  • screamingeagle on September 1, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    So much for pitches being made to support the home team. Strange, considering SL was supposed to bat Aus out of the match ........

  • Ellis on September 1, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    As you sow, so you reap. The SL brains trust have had a way below par wicket prepared for a Test Match and have been hoist on their own petard. The wicket on which this match is being played is a disgrace. SL lost the toss, will bat last, and in all likelihood lose the Test unless saved by the weather or magnificent batting. Hope some lessons have been learned. Dilshan threw his wicket away, as did Mathews.Watson's three wickets were aided by low bounce on a totally unpredictable pitch. Sri Lanka have their work cut out to win or save this game. Australia are in the driver's seat.

  • randikaayya on September 1, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    extremely casual batting display by the Sri Lankans. And I must add that even though Aussies are clear favorites to win this game, their batting effort too leave a lot to be desired. Somehow it feels nice to see an emphatic bowler friendly surface than a batting paradise! Good luck!

  • on September 1, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    its high time haddin produced some sparkits high time haddin produced some spark

  • OutCast on September 1, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    Was somebody talking about the mystery bowling of Mendis? The mas himself is a mystery when it comes to tests. He was not even selected. haha What Sirilis are doing is SMOKES & MIRROR. SIrils were lucky that rain bailed them out in london from embarrassment. BAngladesh is way better than Sirils. Oh no Zim beat 'em so Zim is better than Sirils.. haha

  • on September 1, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    After Arthur.Pakistan's Intikhab Alam had also taken a wicket with his first delivery in his debut at Karachi

  • JesseV on September 1, 2011, 16:30 GMT

    I really like this Aussie side. Copeland deserves to be there, and Lyon seems impressive. I just hope everyone doesnt get too excited with him just yet. Krejza took 12 on debut and played only one more test. We cant put too much pressure on him.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 1, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    It doesn't matter what excuses Sri Lanka give now, Australia are gonna win this match. Excellent bowling by Watto and Lyon. Sri Lanka had no clue how to bat in their 'own' conditions. It looks good for a result by tomorrow. Good bowling will expose any batting lineup. Sri Lanka were poor.

  • MENDIS_Forever on September 1, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    I am a SriLankan,and congrats to Nathan Lyon.He bowled beautifully.Our guys(SLC+Team) never learn.why did they drop Mendis and eranga? I see an Ausee victory by the first session of the 4th day.or may be at the evening of the 3rd day.who knows?

  • on September 1, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    May all hearts of SL wishes strong second inn for SL and win against Aussies! Lions nation never give up!!!!

  • on September 1, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    "Only Arthur Conington in the 1890s had taken a wicket with his first Test delivery" - I think Nilesh Kulkarni of India also took a wicket off his very first ball in Test cricket, that too against Srilanka in 1997. The test match is remembered for Srilanka posting the highest total in an innings.

  • NairUSA on September 1, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    I am sure the SL batsmen will produce their best second innings in front of their home crowd. This is no time to buckle under pressure. Best of luck, Srilanka - Indian Fan

  • samincolumbia on September 1, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    Good fightback from Australia!! Sri Lanka has never won anything of significance outside the country, but looks like they are going to lose matches on their own designer pitches after the retirement of Murali.

  • CricketFan2011WC on September 1, 2011, 15:34 GMT

    If SL to win this match, at least five of our batsmen should play like Clark. But doing it is the problem, do they have the confidence to do such a thing? If we try to be defensive in batting, like in ODIs, we surely are going to loose this. But I am hopeful that they will not be. SL-players used be better in turning pitches, and had been aggressive in batting. No big talks, but did the job, but now it seems it is not there any more. Best of luck for our batters.

  • stormy16 on September 1, 2011, 15:01 GMT

    SL were pathetic..again..in the all important 1st test (recall Cardif) with senceless batting starting with the captain! I dont understand the negative go slow approach either when the game was there for the taking and what was required was to get runs on the board. Mathews really needs to bat with some responsibility as does Dilshan. Australia were simply fantastic. They had a plan which was to bowl tight and wait for SL to panic which they did in spectacular fashion. For me the Aussie bowlers didnt do much other than Watson who did something special and found swing and wickets. Lyon bowled well did well to get the 5 but it was Watson who changed the game. Strangely the SL's when they bowlwd didnt look for the same swing or the 'low' spot which Watson found. Australia have done enough to take a lead in the first test and SL have only them selves to blame and learn from Australia.

  • on September 1, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    Fantastic bowling display by the aussies

  • LancashireHero on September 1, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    Good to see a result pitch in Sri Lanka.

  • Haleos on September 1, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    If khwaja is the Best Option to replace ponting, God help australia

  • Synex_SL on September 1, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    Sri Lanka will loose with 2 days to spare.... Well done Aussies. We prepared a ragging turner and its our blokes who can bat in it. Aussies even passed our 1st innings total in the 2nd innings. So I don't think the wicket is the major issue lack of application seems to me the major issue. Some batters of SL were still in 20-20 mode and thanks to our capt we were set back from the very beginning.

  • on September 1, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    Dream start for Lyon, he'll want to pack up this pitch and keep it as its great for spin. Have to see how he performs on a less ideal track but its a big step to proving the doubters, including myself, wrong.

  • on September 1, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    Bowlers paradise..... Wish Murali and warne to play in thus

  • Nathan_123 on September 1, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    Congratulations to Nathan Lyon. What a great start to his international career. 5 for in his first test match? Oh man! It won't get any better than that. I thought Srilankas would get around 200 to give a fight to Aussies. They were easily succumbed to pressure. Watson bowl really well after lunch with his reverse swing. Technically speaking, only Randiv battered well against the Watson's reverse swing, by standing well inside the crease and making the forward press as the bowler delivered the ball. I thought this was very interesting way of playing the moving ball. If Srilanka can't perform well in their home conditions, I wonder where Srilankan cricket is heading?

  • Bollo on September 1, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    Wonderful day of cricket, on an obviously `over` prepared pitch. Clarke played a very good innings and the fielding from both sides was excellent. Michael Hussey though...how an umpire could overturn that decision on little to no (as opposed to conclusive) evidence was really poor.

    Tough day for the on-field umpires, who did extremely well. TV official (Hill?) should hang his head in shame though. Disappointing stuff.

  • landl47 on September 1, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    I thought the toss might be key in this game. I didn't think the pitch would be so poor, though. I guess Sri Lanka banked on winning the toss and batting. The sub-continental teams seem to be falling apart. Good work by Lyon, who must wish he could wrap this pitch up and carry it around with him. Copeland looked pretty good, too. Nice going by Australia.

  • yorkslanka on September 1, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    Well done to Lyon, nice to see a debutant doing well..The match report seems to suggest that SHane Watson did a lot of damage too so looks like the wicket was not just a spinners wicket, but a bowlers wicket...there will still probably be people moaning about it though...

  • on September 1, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    Even though he has taken the wickets, i am still not convince about him...srilanken gave there wickets to hi, rather than him calming wickets with good balls,

  • on September 1, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    wat a match srilanka lock in its own net

  • Narkovian on September 1, 2011, 12:42 GMT

    Look, this I suppose is quite excitig in its own way. But how can you take it too seriously when the pitch is such a minefield.? I have seen pitches prepared for spinners by India in the past, but at least they were Ok for the first 2 days or so. This dustbowl was breaking thru the surface and turning square immediately on day 1. If SL manage to get approx 300 to win this, it will not only prove me wrong but be a miracle. Its just "not cricket" !!!!

  • AJ_Tiger86 on September 1, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    This has been a very enjoyable test match. Sri Lankan batsmen couldn't cope with a pitch that should be very familiar to them. Kudos to the groundsman for preparing a pitch which produces exciting test match cricket. Other grounds in the subcontinent should follow suit -- pitches at Mohali, Faisalabad, Multan, Premadasa, Mirpur are bad for the future of test cricket in the subcontinent.

  • on September 1, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    Excellent day of cricket from the Aussies. Watson was excellent and Lyon followed him up with some good attacking spin bowling. Clarke batted very well i thought and if the Aussies can set them 350 it's going to be very difficult indeed.

  • sankar8000 on September 1, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    A Victory for Aussies is Waiting........

  • on September 1, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    If Australia can get another 50-75 tomorrow, then it'd be a great bonus. I'm looking forward to some strokes from Khawaja, looked solid in those last deliveries. Nathan Lyon will be rearing to go in the second innings, he'd be hoping for 10 wickets. For Johnson and Harris, although they didn't get on the wickets column, they bowled with great heart and disciple which is great to see, assisted by some great captaincy from the classy Clarke.

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  • on September 1, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    If Australia can get another 50-75 tomorrow, then it'd be a great bonus. I'm looking forward to some strokes from Khawaja, looked solid in those last deliveries. Nathan Lyon will be rearing to go in the second innings, he'd be hoping for 10 wickets. For Johnson and Harris, although they didn't get on the wickets column, they bowled with great heart and disciple which is great to see, assisted by some great captaincy from the classy Clarke.

  • sankar8000 on September 1, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    A Victory for Aussies is Waiting........

  • on September 1, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    Excellent day of cricket from the Aussies. Watson was excellent and Lyon followed him up with some good attacking spin bowling. Clarke batted very well i thought and if the Aussies can set them 350 it's going to be very difficult indeed.

  • AJ_Tiger86 on September 1, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    This has been a very enjoyable test match. Sri Lankan batsmen couldn't cope with a pitch that should be very familiar to them. Kudos to the groundsman for preparing a pitch which produces exciting test match cricket. Other grounds in the subcontinent should follow suit -- pitches at Mohali, Faisalabad, Multan, Premadasa, Mirpur are bad for the future of test cricket in the subcontinent.

  • Narkovian on September 1, 2011, 12:42 GMT

    Look, this I suppose is quite excitig in its own way. But how can you take it too seriously when the pitch is such a minefield.? I have seen pitches prepared for spinners by India in the past, but at least they were Ok for the first 2 days or so. This dustbowl was breaking thru the surface and turning square immediately on day 1. If SL manage to get approx 300 to win this, it will not only prove me wrong but be a miracle. Its just "not cricket" !!!!

  • on September 1, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    wat a match srilanka lock in its own net

  • on September 1, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    Even though he has taken the wickets, i am still not convince about him...srilanken gave there wickets to hi, rather than him calming wickets with good balls,

  • yorkslanka on September 1, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    Well done to Lyon, nice to see a debutant doing well..The match report seems to suggest that SHane Watson did a lot of damage too so looks like the wicket was not just a spinners wicket, but a bowlers wicket...there will still probably be people moaning about it though...

  • landl47 on September 1, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    I thought the toss might be key in this game. I didn't think the pitch would be so poor, though. I guess Sri Lanka banked on winning the toss and batting. The sub-continental teams seem to be falling apart. Good work by Lyon, who must wish he could wrap this pitch up and carry it around with him. Copeland looked pretty good, too. Nice going by Australia.

  • Bollo on September 1, 2011, 13:47 GMT

    Wonderful day of cricket, on an obviously `over` prepared pitch. Clarke played a very good innings and the fielding from both sides was excellent. Michael Hussey though...how an umpire could overturn that decision on little to no (as opposed to conclusive) evidence was really poor.

    Tough day for the on-field umpires, who did extremely well. TV official (Hill?) should hang his head in shame though. Disappointing stuff.