By : Nalin Jayetileke
The First Test between Sri Lankan and Australia for the Warne Murali trophy kicked off yesterday at the Galle International Cricket stadium. Sri Lankan legendry test and world cup winning Captain Arjuna Ranatunge was a notable visitor to the venue with which the late Shane Warne has had a lot of affiliation with, by supporting unstintingly when the Tsunami hit the Galle stadium. The support Shane Warne rendered towards the development of the said venue post Tsunami is immeasurable.
Talking to thesundayreader.lk sports correspondent Samantha Hewabandula in order to gauge his views as a cricketer and a close friend of the Late Shane Warne Arjuna said “well Shane was a fantastic Cricketer and we had a lot to learn from the legendry cricketer. We were kind of enemies in the Cricket field but very good friends off the field and have had a lot of good times with Shane and we remember him with lots of emotions, feelings and gratitude for what he did especially for the Galle stadium and I thought I must grace the occasion as a tribute to the legendendary spinner whom I regarded as a good friend.”
“Everyone knows he has been a brilliant player, but especially after the tsunami he got very close to the Sri Lankan hearts,” Ranatunga told stated.
On day 1 of the Test, Niroshan Dickwella hit a quickfire fifty before Australia bowled out Sri Lanka for 212 in the first innings. Whilst Nathan Lyon took his 20th five-wicket haul in Test cricket, leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson took three wickets. Dickwella was able to bring up his half-century in just 42 deliveries with five boundaries. He and Ramesh Mendis put on a 50-plus partnership after Angelo Mathews fell for 39 to Nathan Lyon soon after Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc struck in the first session on Day 1 of the first Test. Sri Lankan at one stage were 130 for the loss of 6 wickets and ended their innings for 212.
Australia were 98 for three at stumps on Day 1 of this Test against Sri Lanka in Galle with Usman Khawaja batting unbeaten on 47 and Travis Head at the wicket with him not out on six. This come after Australia had lost the wickets of David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith. With 7 wickets in hand Assis trail Sri Lanka by 114 runs on day 2.