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SL vs AUS | 1st Test Day 1: Late strikes help Sri Lanka claw back on a day dominated by Australia

A couple of late strikes in the form of Marnus Labuschagne and Steven Smith have helped Sri Lanka regain some lost ground as the visitors finished the 1st day of the Galle Test at 98/3 after dismissing the hosts for 212.

Australian openers came out all guns blazing in their pursuit of 213, with David Warner smashing his way to a 24-ball 25 with the help of five fours.

He was ably aided by poor bowling from the Lankan spinners, especially Lasith Embuldeniya, who gave away 39 runs in 7 wicketless overs.

Usman Khawaja (47*) seemed to have picked off from where he had left in Pakistan a few months ago as the southpaw looked in brilliant touch.

Australia raced their way to 47 in ten overs before Ramesh Mendis, easily the pick of Lankan bowlers, trapped Warner plumb in front.

Marnus Labuschagne came out to bat with an attacking instinct, but it backfired as he hit an attempted reverse-sweep off Mendis straight to Ashita Fernando at short third-man.

It was a lucky break for Sri Lanka, and things could have been even better had Dickwella converted a stumping chance that Khawaja offered in the same over.

However, the home side managed to get another lucky break thanks to Khawaja, who sold Steve Smith short in the closing stages following a horrible mix-up between the duo.

Aussie spinners spun a web around Lankan batsmen

Earlier in the day, Australia banked on their spin duo of Nathan Lyon (5/90) and Mitchell Swepson (3/55) to knock over Sri Lanka for a mere 212 in 59 overs.

Opting to bat first, Sri Lanka got off to a decent start with both openers- Pathum Nissanka (23) and Dimuth Karunaratne (28) - getting decent starts.

However, a loose shot from Nissanka at a wide delivery from Pat Cummins led to his downfall and paved the way for Australia to take control. Mitchell Starc got rid of Kusal Mendis (3) shortly afterwards.

Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews' (39) tried to resurrect the innings with a 34-run-stand, but a sensational grab from David Warner brought about his downfall.

With the Galle pitch aiding turn and bounce, Australia employed plenty of close-in fielders around the bat. It paid dividends as Swepson got rid of Dhananjaya de Silva (14) and Dinesh Chandimal (0) within two deliveries, leaving Lanka reeling at 5-97.

Niroshan Dickwella counterpunched with his traditional and unconventional sweep shot against the Aussie spinners, especially Lyon.

The southpaw smashed six fours during a quick-fire 59-ball 58, and after Mathews's dismissal, who edged Lyon to Warner at leg-slip, he added 54 priceless runs for the 8th wicket with Ramesh Mendis (22).

However, one slog sweep proved too many for Dickwella as he inside-edged Lyon straight to keeper Alex Carey.

Lyon, en-route to his 20th Test 5-for, and Swepson then proceeded to wipe out the tail and end Sri Lanka's innings on 212.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka 212 all-out (59 overs)

Niroshan Dickwella 58 (59)

Angelo Mathews 39 (71)

Nathan Lyon 5/90 (25)

Mitchell Swepson 3/55 (13)

Australia 98/3 (25)

Usman Khawaja 47* (86)

David Warner 25 (24)

Ramesh Mendis 2/35 (11)

Stumps | Day 01| Australia trail by 114 runs.