Australia 273 and 115 for 6 (Clarke 60, Herath 3-51) lead Sri Lanka 105 (Paranavitana 29, Lyon 5-34, Watson 3-11) by 283 runs

After eight months of soul-searching, Australian cricket finally has something to be excited about.

28578 - Lyon shines to stun Sri Lanka

A few things, in fact: Nathan Lyon's five-wicket haul on debut, including a wicket with his first delivery in Test cricket; the performance of the other debutant, Trent Copeland, who struck with his second ball at international level; and the return to form of the new captain Michael Clarke, whose confident half-century capped off a strong day for his side.

And the most encouraging thing for Australia's fans is that they were in a powerful position to push for victory against Sri Lanka in Galle. The Australians closed the second day at 115 for 6, hardly the sort of score most sides would crow about that early in a Test, but on a day when 16 wickets tumbled on a pitch so dusty it was almost a health hazard, Clarke's men were unequivocally on top against a lacklustre Sri Lanka.

Of course, plenty of work remains to be done, and their lead of 283 runs with four wickets in hand is no guarantee of victory against a side boasting batsmen like Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. But the longer the match wears on, the more impressive Australia's first innings of 273 appears, and the hosts will need the biggest total of the match to pinch victory.

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