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Lyon roars, Swepson soars as Australia bundle Sri Lanka out




Nathan Lyon’s five-wicket haul has put Australia in control of the first Test in Galle, as the tourists bowled Sri Lanka out for 212 after tea on day one.

On the same day Sri Lanka paid tribute to Shane Warne, Mitchell Swepson also claimed 3-55 to justify Australia’s faith in him as the second spinner.

The legspinner at one stage claimed two wickets in two balls as Australia’s spinners took hold on a turning wicket that the visitors must now combat with the bat.

But it was Lyon who claimed the main honours with 5-90.

Australia got off to a flyer in reply before David Warner was trapped in front for a 24-ball 25 by an arm ball from Ramesh Mendis, with the first wicket falling in the 10th over with 47 runs on the board.

Derided for his inability to take command with his spin in the 2016 series against Sri Lanka, Lyon failed to take a five-wicket haul in the 3-0 flogging then.

GALLE, SRI LANKA - JUNE 29: Australian players celebrate after dismissing Lasith Embuldeniya of Sri Lanka during day one of the First Test in the series between Sri Lanka and Australia at Galle International Stadium on June 29, 2022 in Galle, Sri Lanka. (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)

(Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)

But he has appeared a different bowler on spinning Asian wickets since, with that exemplified on Wednesday.

He claimed the key wicket of Dimuth Karunaratne for 28 just after lunch, drawing his inside edge before Warner leapt forward to take a one-handed catch at slip.

Angelo Mathews became Lyon’s other victim when he glided him straight to Warner at leg slip, after the former captain looked in control at the crease.

Then as Sri Lanka looked to put on a rearguard action from 5-97, courtesy of 58 from 59 balls from Nirosham Dickwella, Lyon put pay to that.

The offspinner claimed scalps in each of his first three overs after tea, trapping Ramesh Mendis lbw, having Dickwella caught behind and removing Lasith Embuldeniya on the legside.

Swepson would have also walked away happy with his return, after appearing to be at risk of losing his spot following a difficult debut tour of Pakistan.

After taking just two wickets for 266 runs there, Swepson bowled a beautiful drifting and dipping delivery to catch Dhananjaya de Silva’s edge on 14.

He then tossed the next ball up to draw veteran Dinesh Chandimal’s edge before it rebounded off Carey’s pads and into a juggling Warner’s arms.

Swepson’s spell followed doubts whether Galle would suit a leggie, having previously been a haven for finger-spinners.

But the Queenslander produced turn and accuracy while being relatively quick through the air and only really looking unsettled when Dickwella went at him.

Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc each claimed one wicket, both drawing the edges of Pathum Nissanka (23) and Kusal Mendis (3) in the first session.

Australia must still defy history to win after losing the toss given teams outside the sub-continent have won just two of 16 matches batting last on the spinning Galle wicket.





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