7.08pm EST 19:08 95th over: Australia 407-5 (Patterson 39, Paine 0) Rajitha nearly gets another with the chop-on. Patterson stands up tall and gets a bottom edge trying to force away away to the off side. The ball lands kindly for him. Gets a couple of runs on the leg glance. 7.03pm EST 19:03 94th
WICKET! Burns b Rajitha 180, Australia 404-5
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Good morning or evening or afternoon all, wherever you are on our tiny blue dot. Hello also to anyone in orbit who has managed to access the uplink. (And watch out for the supercomputer, it’s slowly going mad!)
Australia will resume today in Canberra in a dominant position with the bat for the first time this home season, and indeed the first time in just under a year, since the Durban Test at the start of March 2018. The score is 384 for 4, a fair old recovery from 28 for 3, which was the position after a first hour of sloppy shots against pretty average bowling from an entirely new Sri Lankan seam attack forced by injury to all three bowlers who played in Brisbane.
Travis Head made 161, while Joe Burns can go really big when he resumes on 172 not out. Both were dropped earlier in their innings, as was Kurtis Patterson first ball who resumes on 25. Let’s just say that Sri Lanka haven’t helped themselves.
Head last night dedicated his hundred to another aggressive and unorthodox left-hander, the late Phillip Hughes, who mentored the younger player after moving to play for South Australia. It was an emotional moment in the middle. “I just wanted to hug him as hard as I could for as long as I could,” said the adorable Burns last night. If you couldn’t love him any more.
In other news that is unfortunately news, the teenage prodigy Will Pucovski has asked to be released from the squad to head home and keep managing his mental health. It’s hard enough for any of us to do that, let alone when it’s being reported on in news outlets. But that’s the peril of high-profile work. So let’s hope people can do the right thing and leave him alone.
We’ll get going in just under an hour, on another cool and cloudy day in Canberra.