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Horror day for Aussie cricketers in Galle

AAP logoAAP 4/08/2016 By Will Knight

Australian coach Darren Lehmann hasn't minced his words when asked to assess Australia's dismal day-two performance in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Galle that started and ended with calamitous batting.

"(That's) not up to international standard," Lehmann said bluntly after Australia were set the almost impossible task of chasing down a victory target of 413.

Mitchell Starc's 11-wicket haul will almost certainly be in vain after Sri Lanka's spinners again embarrassed the tourists on Friday.

The huge target is seemingly well out of reach given their woeful batting performances when they were rolled for 106 in the morning session and then went to stumps at 3-25.

Joe Burns (two), Nathan Lyon (0) and Usman Khawaja (0) were dismissed in the six overs before the close of play to cap a horror day for the No.1-ranked Australia.

Given Australia's three innings in the series have been 203, 161 and 106, they have virtually no hope of claiming victory.

Sri Lanka look certain to seal the three-match series in Galle and claim the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy for the first time after last week's 106-run opening-Test win in Kandy.

Resuming at 2-54, Australia lost 8-52 from just 19.5 overs to record their lowest total in the 28-match history between the two teams.

A Rangana Herath hat-trick ripped the heart out of Australia's first innings after Sri Lanka made 281 on day one.

In response, the hosts scored at a decent rate to post 237 and grind Australia into the dirt.

Starc was again the best bowler with 6-50 and accompanied by a five-wicket bag from the first dig, his 11-94 easily surpassed his best Test match figures.

This was always going to be a pivotal day in the series, Australia needing to post a competitive score in the first innings to stand any chance of fighting their way back into the series.

They spectacularly failed the examination.

The batting flop was in part due to skilful spin bowling but also some sub-par batting on a wicket taking a bit of spin but also conducive to skidding deliveries.

Herath bamboozled Australia from the outset, bowling Smith with a faster ball an over after Khawaja's stumps were broken by Dilruwan Perera.

Adam Voges and Mitch Marsh added 21 not-always-convincing runs before Herath's hat-trick - the 42nd in Test history.

He had Voges caught at cover, Peter Nevill lbw and Starc trapped in front off successive balls.

Marsh was the last batsman dismissed for 27, his three big sixes down the ground off Herath towards the city's famous fort helping Australia limp into three figures.

Offspinner Perera was tough to handle and finished with 4-25.

Australia made a flying start with the ball and, at 3-31, there was some hope they could keep a lid on the lead.

However, Mathews forced counterpart Steve Smith into some defensive field settings and consolidated Sri Lanka's advantage before, on 47, he tried to reverse sweep Lyon and was bowled around his legs.

Sri Lanka are marching towards their second Test win over Australia in a week after waiting 17 years between their first in 1999 and the Kandy triumph.

Lyon worked hard to finish with 2-80, Jon Holland (1-69) was expensive and Smith even bowled four overs.

Dilruwan Perera top-scored with 64 batting at No.8.

Australia, the No.1-ranked Test team, are heading towards their eighth straight away Test loss against subcontinental teams.

AUSTRALIA'S LOWEST TOTALS AGAINST SRI LANKA:

* 106, Galle, 2016

* 120, Kandy, 2004

* 140, Kandy, 1999

* 161, Pallekele (Kandy), 2016

* 188, Kandy, 1999

* 201, Darwin, 2004

* 203, Pallekele, 2016

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