Joe Burns and Travis Head reached the 200 run stand for Australia which is the first since Ashes 2017-18 in Perth.
That’s where Steve Smith (239) and Mitchell Marsh (181) batted there at WACA Ground for long periods.
Head soon converted from his 50 into a maiden Test hundred at Manuka Oval in Canberra.
The last South Australian batsman to score a Test century for Australia before Head was Jason Gillespie who made 201* v Bangladesh in 2006.
As Head & Burns both secured their 100s, Australia reached the 250 run mark with less than two hours of play left on Day 1.
It didn’t take long for them to help the home side go around 300 before Head secured his 150 run spell off 193 deliveries.
Sri Lanka, at last, ended the 308 run partnership between Travis Head and Joe Burns as Head left on 161.
Vishwa Fernando pitched it right with the straight ball play throwing at high speed.
That way, it made Head hesitant to swing and miss the flick shot as it tagged his front leg.
Having not moved and jumped for the shot, the Umpire viewed it as LBW where it hit the stumps.
Soon after the dismissal of Head, Burns backed up his 150 of 211 balls as he has:
- Strike Rate of 71.1
- 23 Fours
- 334 minutes spent at the crease
While Burns stayed on at 172*, Kurtis Patterson went in as Head’s replacement at the No.6 position.
Patterson too fired off well with essential singles as well as two fours & one six on 25*.
He took on the short ball very well having executed the cut without hesitation.
Despite not moving the feet too much, his retained head position navigated his ability to whack the pull with the open bat face downtown for six.
Stumps Day 1: Australia 4-384
Well done from Travis Head who sealed one of his best moments today.
He’s the complete package from an aggressive-minded No.5 batsman viewpoint.
An excellent player of both spin & seam having used the crease to navigate the footwork closer to the ball both backward or forward.
That way it made Head whack everywhere downtown especially with his favored cut shot as long there’s an open bat face involved.
Having established himself at the state and the Australian limited-overs teams for a few years now, Head has plenty of potentials to create even more history in the long-haul at Test Cricket.
On the other hand, Joe Burns worked very tirelessly.
His ability to succeed in Test Cricket was evident on the back end of his consistent first-class scores this season.
Forget about The Gabba as it’s his first go in over two years.
But this innings today helped Australia rediscover its way to do well in Test Cricket by producing talent that honed countless hours in Sheffield Shield.
And Burns is the recipient that successfully convinced the selectors to re-include his selection for Australia again based on these facts.
Going into Day 2, Australia would like a bit more time in the crease at around 400-450.
Once they reached that mark, then they can declare and unleash their bowlers to get the job done ASAP.
Sri Lanka’s Performance
Over the first hour, the bowling still hasn’t found its shape having thrown the balls that gone too short and full.
Even at high speed, Sri Lanka hasn’t upped their standard to prevent Burns & Head get their 150s.
Though, credit to Vishwa Fernando for providing the breakthrough.
He did what the other winning teams’ bowlers have done which is to bowl straight towards the stumps.
And it paid off when Fernando made Head swing and missed that trick shot before the Umpire successfully gifted the wicket he wanted via the LBW.
Now they have plenty of weaknesses for the Sri Lankan bowlers to improve & take up quick wickets tomorrow morning.
So they failed to restrict Australia under the 200 run mark through the Burns-Head stand to whack off shots anywhere downtown.
Make sure that they follow Fernando’s example of bowling straighter and attacking the stumps.
That way you never know as a batsman could come up with a loose shot and be hesitant so the bowler can win this wicket.
Once the 1st Innings play wraps up, they have to take advantage through the rest of this Test match & build a big total as they can.
Otherwise, there’s no other way for Sri Lanka to win this Test match if their bowling and batting don’t improve.