Sri Lanka stun Aussies in second Test win

·3-min read

Australia concede they have been given a sub-continent reality check after crashing to an innings and 39-run defeat to Sri Lanka and leaving the two-Test series drawn 1-1.

Tasked with batting for a day-and-a-half to win the series, Australia were spun out in just 41 overs for 151.

It came at the end of a horror-day for Australia, who conceded a 190-run first innings lead when Dinesh Chandimal smashed his way to 206no as part of Sri Lanka's 554.

The result means Australia finish tours of Pakistan and Sri Lanka with two wins, two draws and one loss, but still knowing they must improve before next February's four Tests in India.

"It might be a reality check that it's tough playing away from home, in different conditions to what we've grown up playing in," Cummins said.

"We turned up knowing it's a tough place to win.

"In the last two tours we've learned a heap, we've come a long way in how we've played."

Incredibly, Sri Lanka's assault came a week after they lost the first Test in a little over two days and had three players ruled out with COVID-19.

For all the steps Australia had appeared to make in Asia, this was a return to darker times.

They again had trouble against left-arm spin, with Prabath Jayasuriya claiming 6-59 on Monday to become the fifth bowler in history to take 12 wickets on debut.

There were also two separate collapses of 4-25 and 3-5, including the dismissals of Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith in the space of four balls to Jayasuriya.

Big question marks also loom.

Travis Head was caught on the crease as a delivery spun past his bat and took the top of off stump for the second time in this Test.

The left-hander's scores on this tour now read six, 12 and five.

And with a career average of 21.3 in Asia, it's questionable if he can be taken to India or if Glenn Maxwell is a better option.

David Warner is also emerging as a point of concern after he was the first to fall lbw for 24, with his last international century in January 2020.

Marnus Labuschagne (32) offered the best resistance after his first-innings century, while Cameron Green (23) and Alex Carey (16no) also soaked up some time.

But ultimately, it was nowhere near enough, with Australia ruing the inability to post a score of 400 in their first innings when they lost 5-35 late and left Smith stranded at the other end.

"Some batters went out with a really clear plan and you just get a ball with your name on it earlier than you would've liked," Cummins said.

"There were so many positives out of last week that we did find methods that work, and one small hiccup doesn't mean you have to change everything."

Australia's bowlers were also unable to build the same pressure as the hosts on a far better batting wicket than in the first Test.

Mitchell Starc was the one major exception with 4-89, while Mitchell Swepson showed signs of improvement in his 3-103.

Nathan Lyon was made to toil hard for 2-194, sending down 64 overs but burnt by Australia's poor use of reviews and missed chances.

Carey missed two stumpings off his bowling, including an extremely difficult chance with Chandimal on 10.

But the real turning point of the match was when Chandimal edged behind a ball of Starc on 30 day three, with Australia out of reviews and unable to overturn the on-field call of not out.

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