Cameron Green scored 77 in 109 balls while overnight batter Usman Khawaja hit 71 in 130 balls as Australia are in a commanding position with a 101-run lead with two wickets in hand on a rain-hit day two against Sri Lanka in the first Test match played at Galle International Cricket Stadium yesterday.
The second day’s play started at 1.45 pm due to rain while two umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Nitin Menon decided to limit the overs up to a maximum of 59 per day until 6 pm but due to bad light, the game was halted at 5.40 pm with 14 overs left to spare.
Khawaja, the left-hand opener played a good innings to complete his 17th Test half-century (71) well supported by number six batter Cameron Green who stroked a fluent 77 off 109 balls with 4 sixes.
Ramesh Mendis who finished day two with 4 for 107 took a sharp return catch to dismiss Green in his 32-over spell.
Debutant leg spinner Jeffrey Vandasay captured 2 for 68 in ten overs but the bowlers gave away runs as skipper Pat Cummins stroked a quick unbeaten knock of 26 in 16 balls with three sixes while two of the sixes were hit against Vandersay during the last over of the day.
Skipper Cummins’s plan was very clear and he can bat with big shots to get more runs to build up more pressure for Sri Lanka and two top-order batters Khawaja and Green and wicket-keeper Alex Carey who scored 45 in 47 balls with six fours made a good pathway to Cummins at end of the day.
Spin Coach Piyal Wijetunge talks about spinners
Sri Lankan Spin Specialist Coach Piyal Wijetunge said Nathan Lyon the experienced off-spinner bowled well but our spinners are inexperienced compared to him. However, when rain hit the game during the first session, the wicket was fully covered and after removing the wicket there was no change and no effect on the bowlers. I think Ramesh Mendis bowled well but from the other end, we didn’t see good support from his spin partner. Experienced Dhananjaya who bowled only five overs gave away only 8 runs and took the wicket of Travis Head after the second over of the day. De Silva should have bowled more overs to support Mendis and that did not work out said Piyal Wijetunge.
Lasith Embuldeniya who bowled 15 overs and giving away 73 runs was not up to the expectations. The spin coach further said Embuldeniya bowled well during the training before the match but his bowling at the middle was not up to standard.
That should be corrected and there is no technical issue, their mentality and mindset has to be improved in order to bowl well at the match, added former National player and Spin Coach Piyal Wijetunge.
The Sri Lankan spinners had a bad patch in the recent Bangladesh Test series and they have to come back with a good mindset.
Sri Lanka spinners didn’t bowl a single maiden over so far in this innings while paceman Asitha Fernando bowled only one maiden over in his eight-over spell.
The opponent batters realised the condition of the wicket as the batters are adjusted to playing a suitable way while credit should go to Aussie batters and our bowlers should come back on the third day (today) to put pressure, added Piyal Wijetunge.