Karunaratne stretchered off as Sri Lanka chase big Australia total

Opener Dimuth Karunaratne was stretchered off in a neck brace after being hit by a bouncer Saturday as Sri Lanka chased a massive Australian first innings total built on the back of three centuries.

In overcast conditions, the home team resumed day two of the second Test in Canberra on 384 for four and extended their lead to a massive 534 for five when skipper Tim Paine declared.

At stumps, Sri Lanka were 123 for three in reply with Kusal Perera on 11 and Dhananjaya de Silva not out one.

Paine’s declaration looked premature given the ease with which Sri Lanka’s openers weathered the new-ball attack led by under-pressure Mitchell Starc.

On a flat Manuka Oval track conducive to batting Karunaratne and Lahiru Thirimanne saw off some lightning quick deliveries and a bouncer barrage and had built an 82-run stand before disaster struck.
Playing in his 58th Test, Karunaratne was 46 not out when a rising Pat Cummins ball appeared to glance off his shoulder and onto his helmet, close to the neck area.

He slumped to the ground, dropping his bat as Australian players ran to assist.
A doctor and physio sprinted onto the ground and called for more medics and after some 10 minutes, he was put on a stretcher and taken off the field on a golf buggy.

Cricket Australia said he complained of pain in the neck and tingling to the hands and was taken to hospital to be assessed.
It clearly unsettled Thirimanne who fell to spinner Nathan Lyon for 41 in the next over, caught by Usman Khawaja at slip.

Cummins then clean-bowled Kusal Mendis for six and when captain Dinesh Chandimal gloved a Starc ball to Paine behind the stumps for 15, the tourists were in trouble.
The impressive Kurtis Patterson was not out 114 and Paine on 45 at the declaration with Vishwa Fernando the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers with 3-126.

After being dropped on his first ball, Patterson, who earned a debut in the first Test at Brisbane after hitting 157 and 102 for a Cricket Australia XI in a warm-up against Sri Lanka, never looked back.
The New South Welshman shored up his credentials ahead of an Ashes tour to England later this year by bringing up his maiden hundred with a drive to mid-off for three after starting the day on 25.
Following a century drought stretching back to October when Khawaja scored 141 against Pakistan in Dubai, it turned into a flood in Canberra with three players bringing up the magical mark.

Opener Joe Burns punished the inexperienced Sri Lankan attack on Friday in a 308-run stand with Travis Head (161), carrying his bat through the day.
But he only lasted five overs Saturday after resuming on 172, adding eight runs before chopping a delivery from quick Kasun Rajitha onto his stumps.

He trudged off dejected after missing a glorious chance to notch a first Test double century against a team missing its three first-choice pace bowlers — Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera — through injury.
Burns’ departure brought the consistent Paine to the crease, who took his time to get off the mark but then hit some cracking boundaries to keep the pressure on the visitors, who lost the first Test in Brisbane by an innings and 40 runs.

At the other end Patterson grabbed his chance with both hands, smashing 14 fours and a six in his breakthrough knock.
Patterson was prefered for Brisbane and Canberra to young batting prospect Will Pucovski, who was released from the squad late Friday to deal with mental health issues that have plagued him in the past.
Sri Lanka 1st innings
D. Karunaratne retired hurt46
L. Thirimanne c Khawaja b Lyon41
D. Chandimal c Paine b Starc15
K. Mendis b Cummins6
K. Perera not out11
D. de Silva not out1
Extras (lb2, b1)3
Total (three wickets; 43 overs)123

To bat: Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Chamika Karunaratne, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha
Fall of wickets: 1-90 (Thirimanne), 2-101 (Mendis), 3-120 (Chandimal)

Bowling: Starc 8-2-32-1, Richardson 9-4-23-0, Cummins 10-2-25-1, Lyon 16-5-40-1

Australia 1st innings (overnight 384-4)
M Harris c C Karunaratne b Fernando 11
J. Burns b Rajitha180
U Khawaja c Mendis b Fernando 0
M Labuschagne c Dickwella b C Karunaratne 6
T Head lbw b Fernando 161
K. Patterson not out114
T. Paine not out45
Extras (lb3 nb10, w4)17
Total (five wickets declared; 132 overs)534
Did not bat
: Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon

Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Harris), 2-15 (Khawaja), 2-28 (Labuschagne), 4-336 (Head), 5-404 (Burns)
Bowling: Rajitha 28-5-103-1, Fernando 30-3-126-3, C. Karunaratne 22-0-130-1, Perera 32-4-112-0, De Silva 20-2-60-0

Australia’s Kurtis Patterson plays a shot during day two of the second Test cricket match between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Manuka Oval Cricket Ground in Canberra on February 2, 2019.

Patterson hits ton as Australia turn screws on Sri Lanka

Kurtis Patterson smashed his maiden Test hundred Saturday before Australia declared in a commanding position after heaping more misery on a wilting Sri Lankan attack in the second Test at Canberra.
In overcast conditions, the home team resumed on 384 for four and extended their lead to a massive 534 for five when skipper Tim Paine decided to call the batsmen off.
It gave his bowlers, led by an under-pressure Mitchell Starc, an hour before tea to try and make inroads into the Sri Lankan top order.
But on a flat Manuka Oval track conducive to batting Dimuth Karunaratne (not out 29) and Lahiru Thirimanne (not out 17) held firm with the tourists weathering some lightning quick deliveries to go to the break at 47 without loss.
The impressive Patterson was not out 114 and Paine on 45 at the declaration with Vishwa Fernando the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers with 3-126.
After being dropped on his first ball, Patterson, who earned a debut in the first Test at Brisbane after hitting 157 and 102 for a Cricket Australia XI in a warm-up against Sri Lanka, never looked back.
The New South Welshman shored up his credentials ahead of an Ashes tour to England later this year by bringing up his hundred with a drive to mid-off for three after starting the day on 25.
Following a century drought stretching back to October when Usman Khawaja scored 141 against Pakistan in Dubai, it turned into a flood in Canberra with three players bringing up the magical mark.
Opener Joe Burns punished the inexperienced Sri Lankan attack on Friday in a 308-run stand with Travis Head (161), carrying his bat through the day.
But he only lasted five overs Saturday after resuming on 172, adding eight runs before chopping a delivery from quick Kasun Rajitha onto his stumps.
He trudged off dejected after missing a glorious chance to notch a first Test double century against a team missing its three first-choice pace bowlers — Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera — through injury.
The last Australian to reach 200 remains former skipper Steve Smith, who made 239 against England at the WACA Ground in December 2017 before being banned for ball-tampering.
Burns’ departure brought the consistent Paine to the crease, who took his time to get off the mark but then hit some cracking boundaries to keep the pressure on the visitors, who lost the first Test in Brisbane by an innings and 40 runs.
At the other end Patterson, who had been on the fringe of selection for a number of years, grabbed his chance with both hands, smashing 14 fours and a six in his breakthrough knock.
Patterson was prefered for Brisbane and Canberra to young batting prospect Will Pucovski, who was released from the squad late Friday to deal with mental health issues that have plagued him in the past.

Australia 1st innings (overnight 384-4)

M. Harris c C.Karunaratne b Fernando11

J. Burns b Rajitha180

U. Khawaja c Mendis b Fernando0

M. Labuschagne c Dickwella b C.Karunaratne6

T. Head lbw b Fernando161

Patterson not out114

T. Paine not out45

Extras (lb3 nb10, w4)17

Total (five wickets declared; 132 overs)534

Did not bat: Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon

Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Harris), 2-15 (Khawaja), 2-28 (Labuschagne), 4-336 (Head), 5-404 (Burns) Bowling: Rajitha 28-5-103-1, Fernando 30-3-126-3, C. Karunaratne 22-0-130-1, Perera 32-4-112-0, De Silva 20-2-60-0

Big Burns, Head centuries put Australia in control against Sri Lanka

Australia’s Joe Burns (R) and Travis Head shake hands as they walk back to the pavilion during a tea break on day one of the second Test cricket match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval Cricket Ground in Canberra on February 1, 2019.

Joe Burns and Travis Head plundered Australia’s first centuries of the home summer Friday in a stirring fightback as they ruthlessly exposed Sri Lanka’s inexperienced attack in the second Test at Canberra.

Australian skipper Tim Paine won the toss at the Manuka Oval and put his side in on a flat track conducive to batting, a gambit that paid off after some early wobbles.

At stumps, they were a commanding 384 for four with Burns not out 172 and Kurtis Patterson, who was dropped first ball, on 25.

Head fell for 161 after a 308-run stand with Burns — Australia’s first stand over 200 since Steve Smith and Mitch Marsh achieved the feat in the third Test against England in December 2017.
Vishwa Fernando was the best of the bowlers with 3-99.

On a cool, overcast day, Burns and Head dug Australia out of a hole after they lost Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne cheaply to be in trouble at 28 for three.

After weathering the storm and as the new ball lost its shine, the pair started cashing in on a Sri Lankan attack missing their top bowlers and fieldsmen who put down a host of chances.

Back in the side after being overlooked for the series against Pakistan and India, opener Burns survived a dropped catch on 34, but was otherwise invincible and brought up his fourth Test ton off 147 balls with a single.

His 172 surpassed his previous high score of 170 against New Zealand in 2016.
Burns’ knock was the first century for Australia since Khawaja’s 141 against Pakistan in Dubai in October and only the second an Australian has scored since the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney almost 13 months ago.

Vice-captain Head soon followed suit, reaching his maiden hundred off 155 balls in his eighth Test with a boundary, capitalising on Dilruwan Perera dropping him on 87.
It puts the pair in prime position to be selected for the Ashes series later this year, with the Canberra Test — the first-ever in the nation’s capital — Australia’s last before their tour of England.

Their partnership followed a dire start against a depleted attack and a team they had beaten by an innings and 40 runs in the first Test at Brisbane.
Pace duo Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera picked up injuries in that rout, with the inexperienced Kasun Rajitha and Fernando taking their place.

And in a big blow, Suranga Lakmal, their best bowler in Brisbane, was ruled out on the morning of the Test with a stiff back, with debutant Chamika Karunaratne brought in as his replacement.
The three newcomers have only five Tests of experience between them, and they initially rose to the challenge.

Harris fell for 11 in the fourth over with a poorly executed square drive off Fernando caught at point by Karunarante.
The out-of-form Khawaja soon followed, lasting just three balls before offering a lazy jab at an out-swinger from Fernando. He was caught at slip by Kusal Mendis for nought, leaving Australia on 15 for two.

The gloom continued when Karunaratne struck with his fourth ball in Test cricket, removing Labuschagne with an excellent angled delivery for six, caught off a thick edge by Niroshan Dickwella.
Burns watched the carnage at the other end and dug in, playing only the loose balls as he bided his time and waited for the bowlers to wilt.

Head followed a similar pattern with both men accelerating the run rate once the pressure of scoring centuries was past. Head was finally undone by Fernando, who snared him lbw.

Australia 1st innings

M. Harris c C.Karunaratne b Fernando11

J. Burns not out172

U. Khawaja c Mendis b Fernando0

M. Labuschagne c Dickwella b C.Karunaratne6

T. Head lbw b Fernando161

K. Patterson not out25

Extras (lb1 nb5, w3)9

Total (four wickets; 87 overs)384

To bat: Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon

Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Harris), 2-15 (Khawaja), 2-28 (Labuschagne), 4-336 (Head)

Bowling: Rajitha 20-5-67-0, Fernando 20-2-99-3, C. Karunaratne 14-0-87-1, Perera 19-0-90-0, De Silva 14-2-40-0

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