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Cummins leads Australia to win over Sri Lanka in 1st test

January 26, 2019
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Australia's Marnus Labuschagne, center, walks off with team members Usman Khawaja, left, and Joe Burns, right, after they defeated Sri Lanka during the cricket test match between Australia and Sri Lanka in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Pat Cummins took 10 wickets to help Australia rip through Sri Lanka’s lineup to inspire a pink-ball first test victory at the Gabba on Saturday.

Cummins claimed a career-best 6-23 after his first-innings haul of 4-39, as Australia romped to victory by an innings and 40 runs in under three days.

His overall figures of 10-62 marked the 25-year-old’s first 10-wicket match haul of his 19-test career.

Australia captain Tim Paine said Cummins could be a key to Australia’s fortunes during the upcoming Ashes series in England.

“If Pat Cummins bowls like he bowled in this test match against anyone, he is going to take wickets,” Paine said. “I thought he was just relentless with his line and length. He gave them absolutely nothing to hit until the end when he was a little bit tired searching for another wicket.”

Australia had earlier closed in on an innings victory in the day-night test, taking four first-session wickets to leave the visitors at 74-5 and still 105 runs behind Australia’s first-innings total of 323.

At that point, Cummins had eight wickets over two innings — four in each — while the fifth Sri Lankan wicket fell five minutes before the tea break Saturday when Jhye Richardson, making his test debut, clean-bowled Dhananjaya de Silva for 14.

Sri Lanka, which has never won a test match in Australia, was bowled out for 144 in its first innings and resumed Saturday on the third day at 17-1.

After Cummins dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne on the last ball of the second day, he took wickets in his first two overs Saturday and claimed another later in the first session for figures of 4-11.

The Aussie quick at one stage had 3-0, removing captain Dinesh Chandimal with a delivery which flew off the shoulder of the bat to gully for a duck before finding the edge of Kusal Mendis’ bat for one.

Chandimal’s match tally of five is the lowest of his 51-game test career when he’s batted twice.

Cummins then took his fourth wicket of the innings when Roshen Silva on three edged him to slips for Joe Burns’ second catch in the cordon.

After the match, national selector Trevor Hohns said Marcus Stoinis would be added to the test squad for the second match against Sri Lanka in Canberra beginning Feb. 1.

“We made the decision to add Marcus to give us the flexibility to play an all-rounder in the event the conditions require an extra bowling option in the lineup,” Hohns said.

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