Cummins leads Australian rout of Sri Lanka

BRISBANE, Australia (AFP) – Australia thrashed a disappointing Sri Lanka by an innings and 40 runs in the first day-night Test in Brisbane yesterday.

Led by a brilliant display of fast bowling from Pat Cummins, the Australians dominated the Sri Lankan outfit that never came to terms with the pace and bounce of the Gabba wicket.

They made 144 in the first innings and just 139 in the second in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 323.

Cummins took a career-best 6-23 in the second innings and 10 for the match to lead the Australians to a win inside three days.

He was well-supported by debutant Jhye Richardson, who took 2-19 to go with the 3-26 he claimed in the first innings.

Pat Cummins prepares to bowl during the cricket test match against Sri Lanka. – AP

“If Pat bowls like he bowled in this Test match against anyone he’s going to take wickets,” Australian captain Tim Paine said.

“I thought he was just relentless with his line and length.

“I thought he and Jhye in particular – their discipline, their ability to just keep hitting the spot and wearing them down was outstanding.”

Paine conceded the Sri Lankans went into the match at a disadvantage because of playing at the Gabba, where Australian hasn’t lost since 1989.

“It’s completely out of their comfort zone,” he said.

“It’s hard enough for Australians to come from the southern states and play on that wicket with the extra bounce.”

After starting their second innings 179 runs behind, the Sri Lankans never looked like making Australia bat a second time when they slumped to 19 for three and 35 for four.

Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal said the batting was simply not good enough to compete at this level.

“Our batting was below par throughout the game, so that’s the one area we’ll have to improve,” he said.

“If you can’t score 300 in an innings it’s always tough to beat a team like Australia, especially in Australia.”

Cummins exploited the conditions to the full in a superb seven over spell to start the day’s play.

The 25-year-old, who dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne on the last ball of the day on Friday, took the first three Sri Lankan wickets to fall in yesterday’s opening session.

Cummins was in irresistible form, bowling with great venom and immaculate control.