CRICKET: Herath's fine debut mops up Australia

Sri Lanka 296 Australia 228
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SRI LANKAN spinners Muthiah Muralitharan and Rangana Herath took nine wickets to bowl out Australia for 228 in their first innings on the rain-affected third day of the second Test yesterday, leaving the hosts with a lead of 68 runs.

Australia, resuming on 188 for 5, added just 40 runs for their last five wickets in 51 minutes at the crease. No play had been possible until 4.30pm because of overnight and early morning rain and only three hours could be squeezed in before dark. But Sri Lanka made the most of it. Left-armer Herath exploited the cracks in the pitch to finish off the Australians, collecting his first four Test wickets.

Ricky Ponting went cheaply for one, felled early on edging Herath to Arjuna Ranatunga at slip, before Shane Warne followed him to the pavilion two balls later, miscutting Herath to gully fielder Marvan Atapattu.

Damien Fleming had reached 16 when he was bowled looking to force the ball to the on side. Sanath Jayasuriya, the captain, and wicketkeeper Romesh Kaluwitharana then combined to run out Colin Miller for six before the Australian captain, Steve Waugh, was last man out for 19.

The debutant, included after taking 4 for 57 against the tourists for a Sri Lanka Board XI earlier this month, finished with figures of 4 for 97. Muralitharan took 5 for 71.

Fleming has been spoken to by the match referee, Cammie Smith, for an altercation with Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas earlier in the Test. The fast bowler appeared to drop his right shoulder into Vaas on Thursday after dismissing the batsman for 41.

Smith and the Australian team management refused to disclose what action, if any, had been taken, saying that an International Cricket Council regulation states any comment must come from the controlling nation's cricket board.

SECOND TEST (Galle, third day)

Sri Lanka won toss

SRI LANKA - first innings 296

(P A de Silva 64, R P Arnold 50)

AUSTRALIA - first innings

(Overnight: 188 for 5)

M J Slater st Kaluw'arana b M'litharan 96

G S Blewett b Muralitharan 62

J L Langer c Ranatunga b Muralitharan 7

M E Waugh c Ranatunga b M'litharan 10

*S R Waugh c Kaluwitharana b Herath 19

I A Healy c Jayawardene b M'litharan 4

R T Ponting c Ranatunga b Herath 1

S K Warne c Atapattu b Herath 0

D W Fleming b Herath 16

C R Miller run out 6

G D McGrath not out 0

Extras (1b 4lb 2nb) 7

Total (96.3 overs) 228

Fall: 1-138 2-160 3-179 4-182 5-188 6-189 7-189 8-215 9-228.

Bowling: Vaas 9-3-31-0; Zoysa 6-1-9-0; Herath 34.3-6-97-4 (1nb); Muralitharan 38-10-71-5 (1nb); Jayasuriya 9-1-15-0.

Umpires: B C Cooray and D B Cowie (NZ).