During Australia’s 1-2 loss to India in the recently concluded Test series, Pat Cummins had impressed with his performances with both bat and ball. In Melbourne, he took 6/27 and ended the series with 14 wickets while with the bat, he displayed brilliant technique to hit 163 runs with one fifty in the Boxing Day Test which took the match to the fifth day. In the Pink Ball Test against Sri Lanka, Cummins was the shining star as he took 6/23 in the second innings to help Australia decimate Sri Lanka for 139 to win by an innings and 40 runs in the Pink Ball Test in Brisbane to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
In addition to his 4/39 in the first innings, Cummins ended with match figures of 10/62 which are the second-best figures by an Australian bowler in Tests against Sri Lanka. Mitchell Starc took 11/94, including 6/50 in the Galle Test in 2016 which are the best-ever but Cummins’ figures are the best in Australia. Cummins’ haul of 10/62 is the second-time that a bowler has taken 10 wickets in a Pink Ball Test after West Indies legspinner Devendra Bishoo, who took 10, including 8/49 against Pakistan in the Dubai Test of 2016.
Cummins had already set the game up brilliantly for Australia as he dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne (3) on the final ball of day 2 with a delivery that nipped away outside off stump. On day 3, Australia struck immediately as Cummins removed Chandimal for 0 and immediately accounted for the dangerous Kusal Mendis for 1. Roshen Silva (3) felt the brunt of Cummins’ spell as the batsman edged to Joe Burns. Lahiru Thirimanne (32) looked solid and applied himself well but the left-hander was Cummins’ fifth wicket as he edged to Tim Paine and he duly took his sixth by dismissing Dilruwan Perera for 8.
The work of Cummins in both innings was complimented well by Jhye Richardson, who impressed on debut with 3/26 in the first innings and 2/19 in the second innings. The batsmen, who have not yet scored a century in the international summer, all chipped in with some good knocks. Marnus Labuschagne (81) and Travis Head (84) gave Australia a brilliant 179-run lead which was too much for Sri Lanka who had folded for 144 in the first innings.
With this win, Australia has extended their unbeaten record in Brisbane to another year while they continue to remain unbeaten in the Pink Ball Test format. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, suffered their first loss in the Day-Night Test and they have one last chance to break their Test drought in Australia in the second and final Test at Canberra on February 1.