Australia’s spinners tore through Sri Lanka’s line-up as they lost 10 wickets inside 23 overs in a staggering collapse to lose the opening Test in Galle inside two-and-a-half days.
Nathan Lyon and Travis Head took four wickets each and Mitchell Swepson two, as Sri Lanka were bundled out for 113. Australia needed just five runs to win and knocked them off with ease to win by 10 wickets before lunch on the third day and go 1-0 up in the series.
It was Australia’s first Test win in Sri Lanka since 2011, which was also the last time they won in Galle. It was also the first time Australia have won in Sri Lanka batting second, with their seven other wins coming batting first. Sri Lanka’s defeat was just the fourth time a team had lost in Galle in the 21 instances teams had won the toss and batted first. Sri Lanka have suffered three of those four losses in the last 18 months.
Lyon finished with nine wickets for the match and marched into the all-time top 10 Test wickets-takers, while Head took stunning career-best first-class and Test figures of 4 for 10. Such was the spinners’ dominance, captain Pat Cummins did not bowl a ball in Sri Lanka’s second innings. Despite Lyon’s performance, Cameron Green was named Player of the Match for his vital 77 on day two on a difficult batting surface.