Sri Lanka edge day one with Mendis, Mathews’ fifties

Australia 54-2 at stumps, trailing by 227 runs despite Starc’s five-for

Afp August 05, 2016
Mendis followed up his century in the last Test with a top-score of 86 in the first-innings here. PHOTO: AFP

GALLE: Half-centuries from the in-form Kusal Mendis and skipper Angelo Mathews gave Sri Lanka the edge over Australia on the opening day of the second Test despite a five-wicket haul from Mitchell Starc.

Mendis followed up his maiden century in the first Test with a top score of 86 in Galle as Sri Lanka posted a total of 281 in their first innings before then grabbing two early wickets during the tourists’ response.

Australia were 54-2 at stumps, still trailing the hosts by 227 runs in what is a must-win match for Steve Smith’s side after they lost the first Test last weekend in Pallekele.

Mendis, spinners hand Sri Lanka advantage

Vice-captain David Warner was out in the last ball of the day when he edged Dilruwan Perera to slip after making a quickfire 42 off just 41 balls.

The debutant Vishwa Fernando also celebrated his first Test wicket when he dismissed opener Joe Burns for nought in only the second ball of the innings.

Earlier Mendis was once again the standout batsman f, sharing a 108-run stand with Kusal Perera to get the hosts’ innings back on track after losing two early wickets.

Mendis' maiden ton revives Sri Lanka's hopes against Australia

But he became Starc’s 100th victim in Test wicket when he was caught by the wicketkeeper Peter Nevil with the score at 184-4.

Having already accounted for the two Sri Lankan openers, Starc then dismissed tailenders Rangana Herath and Lakshan Sandakan to finish with figures of 5-44.

Despite Starc’s heroics, Sri Lanka enjoyed the better of the day with Mathews hitting an entertaining 54 off 65 balls.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2016.

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