13 wickets fall on opening day Test in Melbourne
Australia trail by just six runs with seven wickets left
Kumar Sangakarra reaches 10,000 runs in Test cricket
Mitchell Johnson takes 200th Test wicket
Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara equaled a landmark cricket record but his side are in deep trouble after the opening action in the traditional Boxing Day Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
A big crowd approaching 70,000 at the MCG saw Sri Lanka routed for just 156, with Australia only six runs behind with three wickets down at stumps on the first day.
Sangakkara’s 58 saw him past 10,000 runs, reaching it in his 195th Test innings to equal greats Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara.
His defiant effort was only ended by a superb running catch by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade which gave Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson his 200th wicket in his 49th Test.
“To achieve what he has achieved is absolutely amazing,” Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford told AFP.
“So for us, although it was a disappointing day in many ways, that brought a lot of joy to the lads.”
Johnson was left out for Australia’s convincing first Test victory in Hobart, but returned to take four wickets for 63 runs to lead the home bowlers.
Test debutant Jackson Bird, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon grabbed two wickets apiece as the visitors capitulated.
Australia made a rapid reply with opener David Warner hitting 62 off just 46 balls in an opening partnership of 95 with Ed Cowan.
Warner fell to Angelo Matthews, caught in the deep by Dhammika Prasad attempting another big shot.
Phil Hughes made just 10 before being run out in a mix-up with Cowan, who fell for 36 to Prasad in the next over.
But home skipper Michael Clarke, passed fit after an injury scare, and Shane Watson saw them through to the close in a strong position.