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Australia pace bowlers strike as Sri Lanka limp to tea in first test

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By Keiran Williams

BRISBANE, Australia (Reuters) – Pace bowlers Pat Cummins and debutant Jhye Richardson struck in successive overs in the first hour of the day-night test against Sri Lanka, who limped to 58 for three at tea on the first day of the first test at the Gabba.

Kusal Mendis was 14 not out with Roshen Silva yet to score at tea after Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and chose to bat.

The visitors, however, struggled against a disciplined Australian bowling attack that offered very little scoring opportunities on a hot, humid day in Brisbane.

Cummins made the initial breakthrough in the 11th over teasing opener Lahiru Thirimanne into a drive which he edged to Marnus Labuschagne at third slip when on 12.

Richardson, who bowled with good pace and swing, claimed his maiden test wicket the next over when he had Chandimal edging through to Joe Burns at second slip to reduce the visitors to 31-2.

On the cusp of tea, Nathan Lyon struck with a ball that bounced and brushed the glove of Dimuth Karunaratne (24) which was claimed by wicketkeeper Tim Paine.

Earlier, Mitchell Starc narrowly missed his 200th test wicket when he had appeared to have Thirimanne trapped lbw in the fifth over, but the television umpire overturned the on-field umpire’s decision.

The tourists are without all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who is out with a hamstring injury and been replaced by Dhananjaya de Silva.

After a 2-1 series loss to India, Australia has again reshuffled its brittle batting order, bringing in Joe Burns to open with Marcus Harris, while Kurtis Patterson has been rewarded for successive centuries for a Cricket Australia XI in last week’s match against Sri Lanka in Hobart.

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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