Spinner Nathan Lyon played with a nine-wicket match as Australia closed the opening test on Friday with a landslide win over Sri Lanka before lunch on the third day. The hosts were tied for 113 in their second innings, giving the Australians a 10-wicket win in their first overback in the crease in Galle. Lyon, whose five-for helped to knock out Sri Lanka for 212 in the first innings, and fellow spinner Travis Head each took four wickets to let the hosts pack before the morning was over.
It was a huge win for Australia, who suffered 3-0 in Sri Lanka on their last tour in 2016.
Sri Lanka was dealt a blow before the game started when Angelo Mathews was ruled out due to Covid-19, with Oshada naming Fernando his replacement.
Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne started strong and broke four boundaries in the 17-run first over of the innings off Mitchell Starc.
But the tables soon turned when Lyon and fellow spinner Mitchell Swepson took the lead.
Lyon got skipper Karunaratne behind him for 23 after just 20 balls, while Swepson Pathum held Nissanka lbw captive for 14.
The leg spinner then caught Oshada in the 12th as Sri Lanka slipped back to 63-4.
Wickets continued to tumble with Sri Lanka’s batters desperately trying to work their way out of trouble.
Head, a left-handed batsman and occasional off-spinner, struck twice in his first skip to claim Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva.
Reckless opener David Warner completed the formalities with ease by hitting a four and a six off Ramesh Mendis to earn the four-ball victory.
Earlier in the day, fast bowler Asitha Fernando took Australia’s last two first innings, with the tourists adding eight to their overnight 313, for a commanding 109 lead.
Opener Usman Khawaja (71) and Cameron Green (77) stood out in Australia’s first inning attempt.
Ramesh Mendis took four wickets while debutant Jeffrey Vandersay took two.
The third day started early after bad weather shortened the game on Thursday, with strong winds causing a spectator stand to collapse.
The second and final test will begin on July 8 at the same location.
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