Live cricket commentary: Australia v Sri Lanka - day one, Melbourne

And that it's here from Blog Central. RC signing off after a very entertaining Boxing Day, appreciated by a very healthy crowd of 67,138. Join us back here in the morning for another 10.30am start!

WHAT HAPPENED: Australia stamped its authority on proceedings very early after Sri Lanka had won the toss and batted, debutant Bird grabbing the first wicket in only his second over, Johnson following suit. Sangakkara revived the visitors' hopes with a commanding half-century, but once he went hope evaporated, and the batsmen continued to get themselves out to overly-ambitious shots. Sri Lanka lost its last seven wickets for just 77 to be dismissed for 156. Warner and Cowan then got off to a flier, knocking off the first 95 in cracking time. Warner got himself out, Hughes ran himself out, and Cowan went soon after, but Clarke and Watson steadied the ship in the final hour, Australia at stumps trailing by only six runs with seven wickets in hand.

WHAT IT MEANS: Pretty hard to see anything other than a big Australian win coming up here, with all the time in the world to build a big first innings lead before dismissing Sri Lanka a second time. Watson looked in better touch the longer he hung around, Clarke is capable of adding anything to his amazing 1500-plus runs this calendar year, with Hussey, Wade and Johnson still to come in the quest for runs. Sri Lanka would need to strike early and often tomorrow morning to work itself into this contest, but it has only itself to blame, and some irresponsible top-order batting.

STUMPS SCORE: Australia 3/150 (Clarke 20*, Watson 13*)

And that's stumps! Watson and Clarke survive to put even more pressure on Sri Lanka tomorrow morning. Will take a super effort by the visitors to turn this around, but bowling side would take a little heart from that little mini-collapse the Aussies suffered when it had looked like they were going to be 0/200.

Much better, tight bowling the last 10 minutes, that's three maidens in a row. Aussies look to have put the cue in the rack for today, three for with a narrow lead going into day two would be a great base from which to launch another assault.

Watson starting to look more comfortable now, Clarke looking in his usual touch, and the runs are starting to flow again. Interesting bowling change, Eranga replaces Herath, just when the spinner seemed to be at least containing this pair and occasionally causing some problems. Bit of a gamble by Jayawardene. Aus. 3/150.

Another chance goes down! Welegedera hits the perfect length, Watson dabbles and gets the edge but fill-in keeper Sangakkara grasses it. Had to fling himself to the right, would have been good catch but you'd think the more regular gloveman would have taken it. That's two chances SL may come to rue! Aus. 3/134

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Chance! Clarke is dropped, good piece of bowling from Herath, didn't get quite to pitch of it and hit on the up to short mid-on. Fieldsman Dilshan was in the right spot, but couldn't hang on to it. Was tough chance, but definitely gettable. Could be costly, given Clarke's form.

Run rate has fallen to three per over in last 10 overs, Clarke and Watson both pretty watchful to Herath, who once again looks the most likely of the bowlers. This Australian habit of losing clusters of wickets is still proving something of an issue, isn't it? Skipper gets off the mark, looks like he and the vice-captain are going to take it cautiously for a while, and fair enough, too.


WICKET! Now Cowan's gone, tries to cut one without enough width, cramped and edges to second slip. Easy out, and Sri Lanka hitting back just a little! Aus. 3/117.


WICKET! Another run out disaster! Hughes is run out after a mix-up with Cowan, and Hughes is gone for 10, seemed to disregard Cowan's call and just watched the ball, looked pretty amateurish to be honest. Aus. 2/117.

Run rate's just slowed a little with the wicket, still more than handy at 4.5 per over. Australia still looking at a 50-plus run lead by stumps, not bad for a first day of a Test match!

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Hundred comes up for Australia after Eranga bounces one over Sangakkara's head! Then Hughes has a crack over slips to get off the mark. Keeper Jayawardene has a fracture by the way, Sangakkara might have to take the gloves for a while yet.


WICKET! Warner goes again when he looked set for a ton, Mathews pitched short, and Warner pulls it in the air straight to Prasad at deep mid-wicket! Frustrating, he always gives you a chance even when he's in as good a nick as he was this knock. Australia well set up, though, 1/95.

Another bowling change, Eranga back into the attack, needs to be a fair bit tighter than his first spell, when he went for seven an over!

Score's up to six per over now, lovely to watch guys! Australia trails by just 66 runs. And Mathews coming into the attack for some gentlish medium stuff. Don't think they'll be trembling in their boots.

Score ticks past 80 now, Cowan looking good as the anchor, Warner, not unsurprisingly, taking the lead role. There's another boundary for Ed, short wide and ordinary from Prasad here ... time to think about the spinner, surely?! Aus. 0/86.

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And there's Warner's 50! Has come from just 34 deliveries with four boundaries and a six, a joy to watch! And demoralising for the bowling side. Australia 0/73 from just 12 overs! Last five overs have conceded 46.

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Massive six to Warner! Just blasted Welegedara over mid-on fence, about 20 rows back! And he moves to 49!

Now Cowan's in on the act, cuts a beautiful four then slashes one through slips, and the Australian 50 is up already, from just 60 deliveries! Run rate is an imposing five runs plus per over. This is turning into a nightmare for Sri Lanka!

Warner looking really ominous here, runs another four a ball after belting one through leg for a boundary, 14 coming from that over, Australia 0/41, and Davey boy has 32 of them!

Dave Warner goes to the suburbs! ... Belts Eranga straight back over his head for the most emphatic boundary of the day. Nothing dangerous at all about this bowling, the runs coming freely, run rate still four per over. Aus. 0/33.

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