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Unlikely debut on dark day for Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan fast bowler Chamika Karunaratne took a wicket in his first over of Test cricket - less than two days after arriving in Australia for the second Test.

Unlikely debut on dark day for Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan fast bowler Chamika Karunaratne took a wicket in his first over of Test cricket - less than two days after arriving in Australia for the second Test.

On a gruelling day one of the second Test against Australia in Canberra, the debut of Chamika Karunaratne provided a rare highlight for Sri Lanka.

On Monday, the 22-year-old fast bowler wasn't in Sri Lanka's tour squad.


He didn't arrive in Australia until 2:00am on Thursday but, even then, something had to seriously go wrong for him to become his country's 148th Test player.

But it did, as Sri Lanka's cursed run with injury continued.

Star paceman Suranga Lakmal, who bagged a five-wicket haul in the first Test at the Gabba, was forced out an hour before play due to a back issue.

It meant Karunaratne was part of a pace attack with five Tests between them.

He teamed up on Friday with Kasun Rajitha and Vishwa Fernando after they replaced Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera, who both flew home injured after the loss in Brisbane.

"They told me that to get ready because, if Suranga wasn't playing, I was definitely going to play," Karunaratne told reporters after play.

"So until the last moment, he was not fit in the morning and then they told me I was playing."

It appeared to be a dream debut for Karunaratne as he captured a wicket in his first over.

After being hit to the fence by Marnus Labuschagne off his first ball, Karunaratne dismissed the No.4 three balls later as Australia slumped to 3-28.

However, it was all downhill from there as Joe Burns and Travis Head piled on a record 308-run partnership for Australia and Karunaratne finished the opening day with 1-87 from 14 overs.

Sri Lanka didn't help themselves, putting down four catches, including Head twice.

"The first hour, we moved the ball a little bit and our bowlers were bowling the right areas ... after the first session, the wicket was a little bit flat and slow.

"The areas we bowl were a bit short so we have to maintain our bowling areas.

"No one wants to miss a catch ... the focus wasn't there."

Despite Australia being well on top, Karunaratne said Sri Lanka fancied their chances of making runs on the flat Manuka Oval pitch.

"We can see the wicket is a little bit good and I think we can chase it," he said.

AAP


AAP




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