Mendis and Karunaratne inspirational in Sri Lanka's excellent response to Australia

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Sri Lanka provided a fine response to keep themselves in the conversation on day two of their second Test against Australia, whom they trail by 180 runs after reaching 184-2 at stumps.

The tourists added 66 runs to their day-one total at the start of the action on Saturday before Sri Lanka began what looked to be a fairly daunting reply to 364.

Set against the backdrop of mass anti-government protests amid an economic crisis in the country, with demonstrations reaching the stadium in Galle, anyone would have forgiven Sri Lanka for being distracted.

But they were locked-in throughout on what was an impressive day for them all round on the pitch.

Steve Smith picked up where he left off on day one to ultimately finish on 145 not out, but after Alex Carey (28) was dismissed, Australian batsmen dropped like flies as they put on just 35 runs for their last four wickets partly thanks to Prabath Jayasuriya's (6-118) tremendous six-for on debut.

Sri Lanka's innings started poorly, with Pathum Nissanka sent packing for six by Mitchell Starc (1-28) in the ninth over to leave them 12-1.

Dimuth Karunaratne (86) was then almost run out on 18 and also had a lucky escape just before tea when nearly finding the clutches of Mitchell Swepson (1-31).

But there were otherwise few scares for Sri Lanka as Australia's attack faded in the face of Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis (84 not out).

That was until Swepson's return, as he slammed a delivery into Karunaratne's pads to snare him leg before.

Mendis continued to elude Australia, however, providing a steadying a presence as Sri Lanka reached the close in good shape.

Jayasuriya has a day to remember

On his Test debut, Jayasuriya produced a memorable showing with the ball. His performance undoubtedly proved key in preventing Australia reaching 400.

His figures are the second best by a Sri Lankan bowler on a Test debut, with only Praveen Jayawickrama (6-92) against Bangladesh in 2021 doing better.

Mendis, Karunaratne frustrate Australia

Mendis and Karunaratne may not have put on runs at a devastating rate, but that is not always what is required in Test cricket. They were playing the long game and it worked.

Australia's attack did not provide Sri Lanka with the opportunities to quickly build a big total, but their second-wicket stand kept the hosts on track and they head into day three in a good position thanks to the pair.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting