GALLE, Sri Lanka, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 4th Augst,2016) - A century partnership from the in-form Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera helped Sri Lanka recover from early losses to reach 109 for two at lunch against Australia in the second Test in Galle Thursday. The hosts, who elected to bat first on a bright sunny morning, lost two quick wickets with Australia's Mitchell Starc snaring opener Dimuth Karunaratne with the first ball of the match.
Karunaratne tried to put away a juicy half-volley from the left-arm pacer, but failed to keep the ball down and it went straight to Joe Burns at midwicket. Starc (2-14) struck again in his third over, with Kaushal Silva chasing a widish delivery that was safely taken by wicketkeeper Peter Nevill as Sri Lanka slumped to nine for two. Mendis, who scored a century in the first Test, continued his fine form by reaching 52 at lunch, with strong support from Perera who was unbeaten on 47 at the break.
The two batsmen, after settling at the crease, counter-attacked against an aggressive Australian attack which employed three slips and a gully for the first hour of the session. The left-right batting combination not only worked away singles and two but also scored regular boundaries at a healthy run-rate of 3.75. Mendis, who scored a match-winning 176 in the first Test in Pallekele, showed his intent by slog-sweeping the Australian spinner Nathan Lyon for the game's first six in the 14th over. Mendis' 83-ball stay was laced with six fours and two sixes while Perera has so far hit five boundaries.