GALLE, Sri Lanka, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 4th August, 2016) - Half centuries from the in-form Kusal Mendis and skipper Angelo Mathews gave Sri Lanka the edge over Australia on the opening day of the second Test Thursday despite a five-wicket haul from Mitchell Starc. Mendis followed up his maiden century in the first Test with a top score of 86 in Galle as Sri Lanka posted a total of 281 in their first innings before then grabbing two early wickets during the tourists' response.
Australia were 54 for two at stumps, still trailing the hosts by 227 runs in what is a must-win match for Steve Smith's side after they lost the first Test last weekend in Pallekele. Mendis was once again the standout batsman for Sri Lanka, sharing a 108-run third wicket stand with Kusal Perera to get the hosts' innings back on track after losing two early wickets. His 137-ball knock was laced with 10 fours and two sixes as he entertained a lively home crowd at the Galle International Stadium. But he became Starc's 100th victim in Test cricket when he was caught by the wicketkeeper Peter Nevill with the score at 184-4. Having already accounted for the two Sri Lankan openers, the same bowler then dismissed the tailenders Rangana Herath and Lakshan Sandakan to finish with figures of 5 for 44.