Aussies sink to six-year low in 'embarrassing' scenes in second Test

Steve Smith and David Warner, pictured here in the second Test against Sri Lanka.
Steve Smith and David Warner couldn't help Australia in the second Test against Sri Lanka. Image: Getty

Australia have slumped to their first innings loss since 2016 after a shocking collapse in the second Test against Sri Lanka.

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

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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 206 not out to help Sri Lanka amass 554.

The tourists were then bundled out for just 151, crashing to an innings and 39-run defeat to leave the two-Test series drawn at 1-1.

The Aussies 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 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.

"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," captain Pat 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."

The loss marked Australia's first innings defeat against Sri Lanka ever, and their first since 2016 when they were humiliated by South Africa in Hobart.

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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, with the left-hander's scores on the tour reading just six, 12 and five.

With a career average of 21.3 in Asia, it's questionable if he can be taken on next year's tour of 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 way back in January of 2020.

Marnus Labuschagne (32) offered the best resistance after his first-innings century, while Cameron Green (23) and Alex Carey (16 not out) also soaked up some time.

Sri Lankan players, pictured here celebrating their win in the second Test against Australia.
Sri Lankan players celebrate their win in the second Test against Australia. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

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."

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.

The cricket world was left gobsmacked by Australia's collapse, which came after Sri Lanka had three players ruled out with Covid-19.

with AAP

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