Australia seize control against Sri Lanka

Report from Day One for the Third Test

Australia's bowlers ripped through Sri Lanka's tail to dismiss the tourists for 294 late on day one of the third Test.

The visitors looked on course for a sizeable total as they worked their way to 250 for five thanks to impressive knocks by youngster Lahiru Thirimanne (91) and skipper Mahela Jayawardene (72).

But the dismissal of Thirimanne late in the final session sparked a collapse with Sri Lanka losing their last five wickets for just 44 runs in front of more than 26,000 people at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Test newcomer Jackson Bird (four wickets for 41 runs) was the chief destroyer while the returning Mitchell Starc (three for 71) also impressed as Australia's bowlers eventually justified skipper Michael Clarke's decision to field first.

The hosts will now aim to pile on the runs on day two as they look to complete a series clean sweep and send retiring batsman Michael Hussey out on a high.

Bird continued where he left off from his Test debut in Melbourne by capturing both openers in the first session.

Dimuth Karunaratne departed for five when he miscued an attempted pull shot off Bird, who then had Tillakaratne Dilshan (34) caught behind.

Jayawardene and Thirimanne put on 62 runs for the third wicket before an inspired bowling change saw Starc strike with the first ball of his new spell.

Clarke took a sharp catch at first slip to remove his opposite number but only after the left-armer survived a close call on a front-foot no-ball.

Peter Siddle got in on the act late in the middle session by snaring Thilan Samaraweera lbw as the vulnerable and wounded visitors showed tremendous resolve to get to 169 for four at tea.

But despite being in a strong position late in the final session, Thirimanne's soft dismissal inside the last hour triggered a flood of wickets.

The 23-year-old, who only arrived in Australia two days ago, had averaged less than 20 in his seven previous Test matches but dominated all the bowlers in a fantastic knock.

He did have a little bit of luck when he was given out lbw on the first ball he faced, only to be given a reprieve by the third umpire upon review.

Thirimanne also got another life on 65 when he got a faint edge off Nathan Lyon which bounced wickedly and hit wicketkeeper Matthew Wade on the shoulder before falling to the turf.

And he made the most of the let-offs in a 151-ball stay, which included 13 fours and one massive six, moving to within nine runs of a maiden Test century.

But it was an attempt at another expansive shot off Lyon that proved his undoing, slicing a drive high to point where David Warner took an impressive diving catch.

Thirimanne received terrific support from skipper Jayawardene in the middle session before Angelo Mathews (15) and Dinesh Chandimal (24) both contributed to good partnerships.

That pair both fell victim to Starc, with Hussey taking a smart catch to remove Mathews, while Chandimal was beaten by a vicious yorker.

After losing in two-and-a-half days in Melbourne, Sri Lanka's wounded and fragile lower order again folded meekly to hand the initiative back to the hosts.

Dhammika Prasad (two), Rangana Herath (five) and Suranga Lakmal (five) all went in quick succession once Australia took the new ball.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all