Last Updated : 2019-01-22 16:20:44

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Burns, Renshaw fail to fire in tour match

18 January 2019 05:20 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Kusal Mendis cleared of serious injury 

Joe Burns and Matthew Renshaw will link up with Australia's Test squad without a decent score under their belts after both suffered their second cheap dismissals for the Cricket Australia XI in Hobart. 

Burns played aggressively to race to 22 from 18 balls but it also proved his downfall as he flashed hard at shortish ball and the edge flew to slips where it was parried up by Roshen Silva at first slip and grabbed by Dhananjaya de Silva who dived across from second. 

Burns swished his bat in disgust as the catch was taken, but still high-fived a young fan who ran over to greet him as he trudged down the tunnel. 

Renshaw, who had survived a couple of early scares, had made his way to 10 from 29 balls when the left-hander was struck on the pad by a delivery that straightened down the line and given out leg before.

It means both openers vying to bat alongside Marcus Harris in next week's Domain Test at the Gabba will enter the match without any strong form line to speak of, and without having made the national selectors' job any easier by punching out an irresistible case. 

Burns has the weight of runs from this summer's JLT Sheffield Shield season behind him with 472 runs in 12 knocks at 47.20. 

Renshaw will perhaps regret more his missed opportunities in this match given his paucity of runs in the Shield this summer: he has 199 at 19.90 in 10 innings, with 89 of those coming in one knock in early November.

Burns, who was dismissed for just four in the first innings after an excellent catch, seemed intent on hitting his way into form, taking an aggressive approach from the first ball. 

It nearly backfired spectacularly as he tried to pull his first delivery and got a top edge that flew over the slips cordon for a boundary. 

He added two more boundaries in much more conventional manner in his next over, again from Dushmantha Chameera, a back-foot punch that raced behind point, and a front foot flick off the pads that screamed the midwicket fence. 

He flicked another boundary down the leg-side to the fine leg fence but when Chameera dropped it short outside off again, Burns slashed and the catch was taken on the rebound. 

While the openers failed, Marnus Labuschagne, who had earlier taken 2-27 with his leg-spin, was assured with the bat at first drop, as he reached 33 from 62 balls when rain brought an early end to play with the Cricket Australia XI on 2-99 and 239 runs ahead.

A surprise at No.3 in the fourth Test against India, Labuschagne looks set to drop a spot to No.4 with selectors to decide between Burns and Renshaw to open alongside Marcus Harris at the Gabba, with Usman Khawaja to resume at No.3. 

Labuschagne will have the chance to push on when this match resumes on Saturday afternoon, where his approach will likely be dictated by CA XI's intent to try and force a result. 

First-innings centurion Kurtis Patterson continued his run-scoring spree to reach 30 from 48 balls by stumps and again looked more comfortable at the crease than any other batter in this match.

Earlier, Labuschagne had waited 57 overs before he was asked to bowl his part-time leg-spin during Sri Lanka's first innings, and his two wickets underlined his knack for breaking partnerships. 

The Queenslander's first wicket may have been a miscued short-ball caught at mid-wicket, but his second was a genuine leg-spinner's dismissal, getting dip and turn to take the outside edge of a flashing blade for Renshaw to take a sharp catch to his left at first slip.

Labuschagne could well have bagged four wickets; a tuck off the hip went just wide of leg slip, and a strong shout for leg-before was turned down in his spell of nine overs unbroken.

He finished with 2-27 as the Sri Lankans closed their first innings at 5-176 after 75 overs following an extended middle session on this second day, and the trailed the CA XI first innings by 140.

Sri Lanka's top order all enjoyed solid hit outs against the pink ball but they did not look to force the pace in this three-day match, their only warm-up before meeting Australia. 

While they had time in the middle, none were able to push on to record a half-century as the CA XI bowlers tied them down on the second day of their tour match in Hobart. 

Dimuth Karunarate top-scored with 44 from 92 balls before he became the first wicket to fall, leg before to Scott Boland, who finished with 2-37 from 16 overs. 

Chris Tremain collected 1-32, his wicket a nonchalant caught-and-bowled effort plucked with his left hand, and could have had a second when he had Roshen Silva edging only for it to fall narrowly short of Renshaw, who dove forward from first slip. 

Boland's breakthrough came after he had switched to around the wicket with a short-leg in play and two men out on the hook the over before drinks, peppering the Sri Lankan with short-pitched balls. But when he went full after the break, Karunaratne found himself caught on the crease. 

There was some good news for Sri Lanka earlier in the day when x-rays at a local hospital confirmed there was no break in the finger for middle-order batsman Kusal Mendis, however he did not bat in the Sri Lankans' first innings. 

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