Sri Lanka skittled for 174, Oz already at 60
Sri Lanka slumped to a mere 174 all out on day one of the second Test in Pallekele. Australia's response was a swift, thorough approach as they reached 60 without loss.
Sri Lanka's bid to right their batting wrongs fell prey to more of the inadequate same as they endured a paltry first-innings total on day one of the second Test on Thursday.
Australia's response was a swift, thorough approach as they reached 60 without loss at stumps. Shane Watson romped to an unbeaten 36 and Phil Hughes made do with 23 not out as the home attack used all of five bowlers in 17.4 overs to no avail.
Earlier Kumar Sangakkara (48) dug deep and Angelo Mathews (58) enjoyed brief momentum but ultimately the hosts fell to a mere 174 all out across conditions that demanded so much more from captain Tillakaratne Dilshan's decision to bat first.
All and sundry laboured through the dustbowl on offer in Galle and the Pallekele International Stadium promised better. The Sri Lankans, however, could not deliver and coughed up something only marginally better than their first dig of 105 all out in the series opener.
Ryan Harris was the chief wicket-taker, striking with enough regularity for his figures of three for 38, but Trent Copeland was really the pick of the bowlers.
The seamer used the Pallekele deck to good effect, with the key scalps of Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene to show for his effort of two for 24. Nathan Lyon (two for 41) landed a couple scalps to rattle the lower order and Mitchell Johnson (two for 48) shrugged off some wayward overs to wrap up the tail.
While the start to the final session was predictably run of the mill as Mathews – in the all too familiar position to farm the strike and chase quick runs – perished in the cause and numbers 10 and 11 flattered to deceive, it was after lunch that the Aussies truly hammered home their authority amid the opposition's lack of application in their own backyard.
Picking up on their initial damage, which had the home side reeling at 76 for five at lunch, Australia saw to it that Sangakkara would not hold up their charge.
The former captain, having successfully ridden the earlier storm, would've entrusted himself with a thorough rescue act through the middle session. His ambition amounted to nothing, however, as the intriguing introduction of Mike Hussey to the attack did for the veteran. The Aussies had tried all day to have the left-hander hole out at short cover or immediate surrounds and it took a straightforward bunt off the part-timer's full length to have Sangakkara square one straight to Hughes close in.
Suraj Randiv had no intention of hanging around on the defence and made his stance clear with a fat dip for four off Nathan Lyon (two for 41) over mid-on. The spinner, though, had the last laugh for a simple return catch two balls later.
Debutant leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna enjoyed an enterprising, albeit brief, stay at the crease. Harris had little trouble in castling the rookie through a shaky defence.
Prior to lunch, Harris and Copeland shared four scalps before Lyon chipped in with a late scalp to have the hosts looking inept and at odds with the choice to bat first.
Tharanga Paranavitana's edge behind in the third over of the day, Dilshan's ill piece of judgment in leaving a delivery alone that jagged back into his stumps and Hussey's stunning diving catch to get rid of Jayawardene soon had the home side at 14 for three.
Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera dug deep for their gutsy 41-run stand and seemed set to steer their side to the break without further loss.
But Sangakkara, grassed in the slips on 27 when Shane Watson dropped a regulation catch, watched from the non-striker's end an over later as Samaraweera copped an inside edge to Harris' return to the attack and departed for 17.
Prasanna Jayawardene, at the introduction of Lyon, was determined to boss the spinner around and took him for six on the slog-sweep and four driven down the ground. The wicketkeeper-batsman, though, was lulled into a false sense of confidence and found himself back in the pavilion for a quickfire 18.
Getting down to one knee in a bid to go big over midwicket again, the right-hander succeeded only in holing out to the boundary rider.
The hosts replaced the injured Rangana Herath with rookie Seekuge, while the hosts gave a first cap to Shaun Marsh in the wake of Ricky Ponting's choice to return home for the birth of his child.
Chanaka Welegedera was cleared fit to play and left the uncapped Shaminda Eranga's hopes of a debut thwarted. Ajantha Mendis was not considered for selection due to a back injury.
The Aussies are one-nil up in the three-match series after a fine 125-run win in Galle.
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