David Warner went on the charge as Australia made a lively run-a-minute response to Sri Lanka’s below-par 294 first innings score on the second day of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
Warner jumped out of the blocks as the tourists struggled to keep him in check on an easy batting pitch. At lunch, the Australians were 127 for one off 27 overs with Warner unbeaten on 68 off 63 balls and Phil Hughes not out 50.
Sri Lanka’s only minor triumph was Ed Cowan running himself out inside the opening half hour after being very much the junior partner as Warner tucked into the tourists’ bowling.
The opener, his sights on a fourth Test century, careered to 50 off 37 balls in 64 minutes. Sri Lanka called on offspinner Tillakaratne Dilshan to put the brakes on the blistering scoring rate.
Australia reached 101 for one after 90 minutes with the warning signs flashing for the tourists’ attack. Dilshan had a few excited appeals for leg before wicket against Hughes but skipper Mahela Jayawardene was not convinced enough to go after a review when the appeals were turned down.
The opening pair had cruised along before Cowan was needlessly run out for four in the sixth over.
Warner clipped Dhammika Prasad through mid-wicket and Cowan hesitated going for the second run and was beaten to the bowler’s end by Nuwan Pradeep’s throw.
It was the third time in Tests that Cowan has been involved in a run out and twice he himself has been run out.
Hughes reached his half-century off 85 balls minutes before lunch with a cut for his sixth boundary.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 294 (Lahiru Thirimanne 91, Mahela Jayawardene 72; Jackson Bird 4 for 41, Mitchell Starc 3 for 71) lead Australia 127 for 1 (David Warner 68*, Phil Hughes 50*) by 167 runs.