Immediately after Tea, Jhye Richardson got up and running for Australia when he dismissed Kusal Mendis on 14.
Richardson found a great length in the middle before it swung in straight towards the off stump.
Mendis tried to play off the back foot as the ball goes fast.
However, Mendis defended the shot on the head down low not knowing where the ball went which entered through the gate.
Not long later, Richardson picked up his 3rd wicket of Dananjaya De Silva (5) as Sri Lanka now 5-66.
Again, an excellent base to start with a decent length before the ball swung a bit in as De Silva drove too early towards Tim Paine’s gloves.
Plus De Silva isn’t watching the ball closely where he put his arms/hands up first which proved hard to perfect his placement.
Niroshan Dickwella and Roshen Silva tried to keep the Sri Lankan 1st batting card afloat.
But, Pat Cummins captured Silva on nine as Sri Lanka 6-91.
Cummins bowled very fast with a good length as well as the in-swinger right towards the off-stump.
And Silva couldn’t do anything about it to stop that good ball where he only defended from the head down low.
Silva should’ve kept the head straight to make the defense stop with the open bat face as it carried straight to Paine’s gloves.
Dilruwan Perera had to retire hurt on one when Cummins pitched a spicy short ball play & hit his thumb of the right hand.
Perera’s head adjusted low a bit and took his eyes off the ball unknowingly where the ball went.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be a nasty blow which proved true as Suranga Lakmal came in the middle.
Second Session, Part 2
Mitchell Starc secured his 200th Test wicket on Suranga Lakmal on seven when Lakmal lunged for the edge from the stumps.
And Lakmal couldn’t believe it when it carried straight to Marnus Labuschagne at third slip.
As Sri Lanka just moved past the 100th mark, Mitchell Starc dismissed Dilruwan Perera on one as Labuschagne gets three catches.
Again, Starc bowled an excellent length swinging in straight towards the off-stump which is attacking way to get things moving.
D. Perera copied the same mistake as others by whacking without keeping the head shape still.
It’s how Perera costed his wicket as it carried to Labuschagne’s hands by half hitting with no open bat face.
Dinner Break: Sri Lanka 8-122
Sri Lanka’s Take
First of all, the defense needs to improve.
They went after the ball and not keeping the head still inadequately reading the bowler.
If they didn’t keep the eyes off the ball, then they would’ve not needed to lose their wicket & see D. Perera suffer with a shaky right thumb off Cummins’ spicy short ball play.
Just keep the technique simple and play off a straight bat.
Yes, I know Sri Lanka is using every shot of the book to rotate the strike.
If they want to cross-bat or be creative like the ramp shot, fine, but do it as long as it presents the full face and not half-hitting it.
Apart from that, it’s not a bittersweet session for the visitors as Niroshan Dickwella & Dushmantha Chameera remains on 42 & 0 not out respectively.
They did a great job making the ball click by targeting the golden area which is the stumps.
Jhye Richardson had the pace to burn when he produced the brilliant straight ball yorker through the gate.
Plus Richardson knows how to change the variety as long as the pace is there.
And at last, Mitchell Starc got his mojo back with two decent wickets off good balls.
Starc knows how to produce the decent length before the pace lets it scare the batsman by making a loose shot from the stumps.
Well, it worked this session and apologizes for proving me wrong as Starc’s still one of Australia’s best fast bowlers.
As long as Starc produces the same performances carried from this session, he will get to keep his place for a long time.