Australia 66-2 at stumps on day 1 replying Sri Lanka's 117

PALLEKELE: Australia recovered from the loss of two early wickets to reach 66 for two when rain brought an early close to the opening day of the test series, cutting the first-innings deficit to 51 runs after dismissing Sri Lanka for a meagre 117.

Play did not get underway after the tea break Tuesday because of a persistent drizzle.

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Opener David Warner was bowled by Nuwan Pradeep without scoring in the third over of Australia's innings and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath bowled Joe Burns (3) with a straight delivery to reduce Australia to 7-2. Captain Steve Smith was batting on 28 and Usman Khawaja was on 25 after an unbroken 59-run stand.

Sri Lanka handed test caps to de Silva and left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan as they went into the match with three specialist spinners. Herath and Dilruwan Perera are the other two spinners playing for Sri Lanka.

Nuwan Pradeep is the sole specialist seam bowler, with Mathews expected to back him up with short spells of seam because Suranga Lakmal was injured on eve of the match.

Sri Lanka has lost three frontline seamers in the recent months to injury, and another is banned by the International Cricket Council after his bowling action was found to be illegal.