Australia v Sri Lanka, First Test – Day 1: Australia in another league

How ironic. I decided not to attend the Test Match in Brisbane for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I hate the ground and the atmosphere, and secondly, I reckon the steamy weather would get to me in January.


Instead I stay at home to watch in comfort with the weather temperature outside a mild 46 degrees.  I am glad I took the second option because of what I have seen in the first day’s play the “ordinary” Australian team is miles ahead of their opposition.


We expected this to happen as Sri Lanka are certainly not the side they have been over the past decade.


Tim Paine lost the toss again! Six in a row is my count and the Sri Lankans bravely decided to bat on what looks like an easy wicket to bat on.


Despite the fact the Aussie quicks said they were going to send down a short ball barrage they were extremely disciplined with their line and length. All three quicks were able to move the ball ever so slightly and it was not long before HDRL Thirimanne (12) chased one from Cummins for Labuschagne to take a fine diving catch.


LD Chandimal (5) was next to go when new boy Jhye Richardson got one to move just enough for the skipper to nick to Joe Burns. Sri Lanka 2/31. FDM Karunaratne (24) had been patient but Lyon got one to take a fine edge and Paine took a wonderful catch.  He (Paine) just keeps getting better with every game.


At lunch/tea? Sri Lanka were 3/58 and as usual this summer a wicket fell shortly after the interval.  A very impressive Richardson got one to move ever so slightly past BKG Mendis bat to bowl him for 14.


It has been a wonderful start for the new kid on the block and he now had 2/16 from 8 overs. When you look at him he is much shorter than the other quicks and this was a move that many of us in the box had been asking for. Somebody different.


From here-on-in wickets fell at regular intervals and by lunch/tea? Sri Lanka were 8/106 with wickets falling to regular shots.  The visitors seemed very short of desire and ability.  The only player to offer any resistance was keeper Dickwella who played one remarkable shot from Starc hitting him for six over the keepers head.


Dickwella went on to make 64 before he holed out to Kurtis Patterson from Cummins and CBRCS Chameera (0) tried the same thing next ball for the same result. Sri Lanka all out for 144.


It was like a practice session for the Australians Cummins 4/39, Richardson 3/26, Starc 2/41 and Lyon 1/38 not even working up a sweat.  They were assisted by some fine catching by Labuschagne, Burns and the ever reliable Paine.


This was the big chance for Joe Burns and Marcus Harris to consolidate their positions in the team and in particular Burns. The Australian selectors have been like a dog’s breakfast and they would be keen for them to succeed as I still think there are doubts on Warner returning to the big-time.


Unfortunately for the Queenslander he got a beauty from RAS Lakmal that moved away slightly and he was beautifully take by Mendis at second slip. Burns out for 18 and his position on the edge of the precipice. Australia 1/37.


One thing about the day/nighter is that all bowlers have been able to move the ball ever so slightly past the bat and for viewers watching the pink ball is a pure delight. Don’t know what the crowd numbers are like but from the armchair it does not look overly brilliant.


Khawaja and Harris are in no hurry but the bowlers are certainly not giving them any opportunities to score either. Khawaja , badly in need of runs tries to cut MDK Perera but the ball is too close to his body and he plays on and is out for another failure 11.  Australia 2/72  and that is how the score remains at stumps with Harris 40 and Lyon 0. Perera ¼ and Lakmal 1/27 have been the strike bowlers.


Well what can we say about the day’s play.  Australia in complete control in Sri Lanka’s first innings with a great debut by Jhye Richardson and Sri lanka fighting back.  Lyon could and should have been caught in the last over.  Australia on top but not much to write home about.


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About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.


  1. Yes Bob, not much to write home about.

    I could say the same about Marcus Harris’s batting. He’s commenced his career in a steady manner, and going in to stumps 40 not out you could contemplate a maiden ton on the cards. He started the second day well with a sparkling off side 4. Getting close to his half century, then gone: nothing shot to a nothing ball.

    The last home summer no Australian managed a test ton was 86-87, 1886-87 ! Is this about to happen again?


  2. The first hour of day 2 – what a dreary affair. Thankfully the second hour was a complete contrast with the runs starting to come. Hopefully we will see an Assie century and I dn’t mean the weather.

  3. It’s been good watching the cricket in the Windies.

    Jason Holder, double ton, eight 6’s !

    England in trouble.

    An Australian century ?


  4. Still no bloody century from our guys but I was quite happy with our lead. However, I feel we missed out badly by having Cummins stuff around for 20 or so deliveries without scoring and finishing with a duck. Had he thrown the bat we could have added some quick runs and declared, with a similar lead, a half hour earlier thus giving a real opportunity of gaining 3 wickets before stumps instead of 1 on the final ball. Hopefully we’ll see plenty of action on Australia Day.

  5. What a final day. Great slips catches. Superb fast bowling from Cummins and Richardson. Lyon unlucky yet again. Starc causing plenty of excitement with his scatter gun approach had Paine diving all over the place to restrict the byes, not always successfully. Here’s a thought, should the next test get bogged down with some dreary play, perhaps we could see a pair of streakers, preferably 1 of each gender, race onto the ground. When apprehended by the long arm of the law, they could claim to be members of the Mitch Starc Fan Club appropriately named THE STARKERS. Then again – perhaps not.

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