Nathan Lyon Bags Fifer As Smith Fumes Over Uncanny Dismissal

Nathan Lyon Bags Fifer As Smith Fumes Over Uncanny Dismissal

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29 Jun 2022
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Sri Lanka vs Australia

Australia risked losing out the match defining spells from Mitchell Swepson and Nathan Lyon. Losing Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith just before reaching stumps on day 1 had served up a strong day by the visitors for that time.

Galle was the place to pay a pre-match tribute to Shane Warne, but none was more fitting than watching the pair of Swepson (3-55) as a leg break, unlocking the hosts’ middle order just as his childhood hero did this many times over the course of 708 Test wickets.

Swepson’s attacks opened things up, allowing Lyon (5-90) to clear Sri Lanka for 212 after tea, despite an impressive rearguard from livewire Niroshan Dickwella. By the end of the game, Khawaja and Travis Head were in serious possession at 3-98 – the latter was preferred to Glenn Maxwell in the playing XI – but Australia’s stage could have been so much better. Anyway, that 13 wickets were taken on the day means that the match is already going well ahead of schedule.

David Warner got off to a fine start, hitting boundaries, but a LBW call out an end to his flourishing innings. Labuschagne’s reverse sweep to backward point were the only precursors to Smith’s half-single that ended in his runout when Khawaja struck, started answering and then stopped in between pitch.

An enraged Smith spread his arms wide and shook his head as he walked, and still looked distraught in the field of view of the team near the stumps. Khawaja (47 not out) needed to maintain the scintillating score of his Test match year so far. Already, he has the highest score in five Tests in Sri Lanka.

After winning an easier-than-usual toss, captain Dimuth Karunaratne would have been out on several occasions when the balls jumped out of the dry, cracked surface, only to not get into the edges or hand of the glove.

Sri Lanka started vaguely and unconvincingly. Losing early wickets pushed them in a rear as the spin duo dominated with the ball in mid innings. Eyeing on 200 score, Niroshan Dickwell played a fast forward innings and scored 59 balls 58 runs before nicking behind to Nathan Lyon.

Still, both Lyon and Swepson were doing so much with the ball that the wickets were not far off. In his pre-lunch spell, Swepson offered some slack but dropped the ball in the middle to a better length than Pakistan, showing the ability to swing the ball or skid straight.

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