Pat Cummins (right) celebrates with teammates after getting the wicket of Sri Lanka's Lahiru Thirimanne. Picture: Darren England/AAP
Pat Cummins (right) celebrates with teammates after getting the wicket of Sri Lanka's Lahiru Thirimanne. Picture: Darren England/AAP

Cummins takes five as Sri Lanka heads for huge loss

PAT Cummins has grabbed a five-wicket haul to have Australia in sight of victory in the pink-ball first Test against Sri Lanka in Brisbane.

The fast bowler has impressive figures of 5-11 - his fourth career five-wicket haul -to have Sri Lanka reeling at 6-79 in their second dig, still trailing Australia by 100 runs after tea on Saturday, the third day of the Test.

Cummins nabbed his fifth scalp when he had opener Lahiru Thirimanne caught behind for 32 despite DRS snicko replays indicating the ball might have hit the opener's elbow.

After Cummins dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne on the last ball of day two, he took wickets in his first two overs on 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 for a duck, with a delivery that flew off the shoulder of the bat, before finding the edge of Kusal Mendis's bat for one.

These were two hefty blows for the tourists, who were always going to rely heavily on the pair in the absence of Angelo Mathews.

Chandimal's match tally of five is the lowest of his 51-game Test career when he's batted twice. An ugly Mendis drive to be caught at second slip was hardly befitting the match situation.

Cummins then bagged his fourth when Roshen Silva on three edged him to slips, again on the drive, for Joe Burns' second catch in the cordon.

Jhye Richardson (1-9) cleaned up Dhananjaya de Silva just before tea, bowling him for 14 with a full ball that swung back.

Sri Lanka are a struggling team, but it shouldn't take anything away from an Australian side who are on track to win a home Test inside three days for the first time in more than three years.

Attempting to emerge out of one of the toughest times in the team's history, Australia's bowlers at least appear to have taken giant steps forward.

They've attacked the stumps on a bouncy Gabba track on which they have not lost in two decades, with debutant Richardson in particular finding plenty of movement with the pink ball.

Only Mitchell Starc's form lingers as a concern with the ball as he struggles to find consistent lines.

A win would be just Australia's second since the ball-tampering fiasco in Cape Town last March.

- AAP

News Corp Australia

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