Gabba Test: Labuschagne, Head steer Australia to 159/4
Marnus Labuschagne was on 36 at the tea break on day two. © Getty

Australia forged ahead early on the second day of the day-night Test against Sri Lanka after losing a couple of wickets in the opening session at the Gabba on Friday.

Resuming at 72/2 chasing Sri Lanka’s modest 144, the Australians reached tea at 159/4 with new vice-captain Travis Head on 29 and Marnus Labuschagne not out on 36.

Australia went to the interval leading by 15 runs and were expected to build on their advantage during the middle session before the evening session under lights. Head and Labuschagne, who gave each other a high five as they headed off the ground for tea, had put on an unbroken 77 runs for the fifth wicket. (LIVE SCORECARD: AUSTRALIA vs SRI LANKA, 1st TEST)

Marcus Harris was out in the first over of the day, spooning a cut shot to Lahiru Thirimanne at point off Lahiru Kumara for 44 after adding just four to his overnight score. Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon was out three overs later for one, caught at second slip by Kusal Mendis off Suranga Lakmal, leaving the Australians at 82/4 in the 29th over.

Labuschagne survived a couple of strident leg before wicket appeals before he swept finger-spinner Dilruwan Perera to the boundary ropes to bring up the 50-run partnership with Head.

The Brisbane Test is the first of a two-match series against Sri Lanka.