Sri Lanka collapses on opening day of MCG test

In their Boxing Day Test return 17 years after the Muttiah Muralitharan chucking controversy, the only throwing from Sri Lanka’s cricketers was that of wickets away.

Australia took control of the second Test after paceman Mitchell Johnson ripped a sloppy Sri Lanka apart on the opening day at the MCG.

By stumps, Australia was only six runs shy of Sri Lanka’s paltry first innings of 156, with skipper Michael Clarke and Shane Watson unbeaten and having both been dropped.

Good thing Sri Lanka’s cricketers weren’t in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

They spent their Boxing Day drowning in the brightest of sunshine amid only Mexican waves, with a crowd of 67,138 soaking up glorious weather and copious wickets.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene led the men overboard – among those producing an array of shots so poor they should have had “give generously” signs attached.

Sri Lanka donned their Santa hats again when they took to the field, dropping Clarke – who overcame a hamstring injury to take his place – and Watson both on five.

Tasmanian debutant Jackson Bird started the rot for Sri Lanka, taking 1-7 off his first five overs in Test cricket.

But the major damage was done after lunch as Johnson tore through the middle order, which aided its self-destruction with woeful shot selection.

He finished with 4-63 including his 200th Test wicket, while Bird and Peter Siddle took two wickets apiece.

For Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara played a lone hand.

He became just the 11th batsman to pass 10,000 Test runs during his one-man stand of 58.

But to put an exclamation mark on Australia’s day, wicketkeeper Matthew Wade dismissed him with a superb catch – running 30 metres, diving and pulling in the ball with the outstretched tips of his gloves.

David Warner then belted a quickfire 62 off 46 balls to put Australia in command – the hosts at 3-150 going into day two.

Australia is aiming to wrap up the three-Test series in Melbourne, leading 1-0 after the victory in Hobart last week.