Brett Lee returns his best Test figures of eight for 112

Brisbane: Australia registered an innings and 40-run victory over Sri Lanka on the final day of the first Test at the ‘Gabba’ on Monday. Resuming at 218 for five, the visitor was dismissed for 300.

Brett Lee took four wickets for 86 runs in the second innings to return his best Test figures of eight for 112. Lee’s pace colleague Stuart Clark ended the contest soon after lunch, cleaning up Muttiah Muralitharan with a full length delivery.

Lee was adjudged the Man of the Match. Apart from some phases on day four, Lee was supported competently by Clark and debutant Mitchell Johnson.

Immediate success

Australia, which took the new ball in the 81st over, had Sri Lanka on the back-foot almost immediately. Overnight batsman Prasanna Jayawardene was trapped leg-before by a Clark off-cutter. The wicketkeeper-batsman lasted 21 balls for the one run he scored.

The other undefeated batsman on Sunday, Chamara Silva, offered some resistance. There were a few fierce pulls and firm drives in his 43 (63b, 5x4). The Lankan promised more before, fatally, miscuing an attempted flick off Lee.

Silva, however, had the rub of the green on 10 when Phil Jacques grassed a sitter at mid-wicket. Clark was the bowler to suffer.

Relentless

Otherwise, the Aussies missed little. Despite two weather breaks in the first session, the host was relentless in its pursuit of victory.

Lee peppered Ferveez Maharoof with short-pitched deliveries and breached the Lankan’s defence with a ball of fuller length. Maharoof had struck a couple of defiant blows during his 18. There was no stopping Australia.

The second Test will be held in Hobart from November 16. Australia has never lost a Test at this venue. Sri Lanka faces an uphill task. It will also be hoping that key batsman Kumara Sangakkara regains fitness.

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