Mendis fifty rebuilds Lanka after early stumble

August 4, 2016

Kusal Mendis notched up his second successive fifty-plus score against Australia to help Sri Lanka overcome a wobbly start and reach 109 for two at lunch on the opening day of the second test at Galle on Thursday.

Mitchell Starc’s two-wicket burst left the hosts reeling at nine for two inside five overs after home captain Angelo Mathews had won the toss and opted to bat on Galle’s spinner-friendly surface.

The visitors did not get another opportunity, however, in the morning session to celebrate as Mendis (52 not out) forged a 100-run partnership with namesake Kusal Perera (47 not out) to rebuild the Sri Lanka innings.

Mendis, the architect of Sri Lanka’s 106-run victory in the opening test at Pallekele, hit six boundaries and a couple off sixes during his fluent knock.

Left-arm paceman Starc gave Australia a dream start by dismissing Dimuth Karunaratne for a first ball duck with a half-volley which the batsman managed to hit straight to Joe Burns at mid-wicket.

Fellow opener Kaushal Silva (five) also fell to a innocuous Starc delivery, playing far away from his body to get a edge behind to wicketkeeper Peter Nevill.

Mendis and Perera then joined hands to stage a brilliant recovery, finding boundaries regularly.

Mendis slog-swept Lyon for his first six and hit the off-spinner for another in his next over.

Jon Holland, making his test debut for Australia, impressed with his flight and loop but will have to wait for his maiden test wicket.

The left-arm spinner came close to success when Perera hit him over deep mid-wicket and Lyon ran to his right, leapt and caught the ball before pushing it back into the field as momentum took him over the ropes.

Vishwa Fernando also made his test debut for Sri Lanka, replacing injured paceman Nuwan Pradeep.



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