Australia's Kurtis Patterson takes a screamer to dismiss Sri Lanka's Dilruwan Perera off the bowling of Pat Cummins.  Picture: Darren England/AAP
Australia's Kurtis Patterson takes a screamer to dismiss Sri Lanka's Dilruwan Perera off the bowling of Pat Cummins. Picture: Darren England/AAP

Cummins takes 6-23 as Australia down Sri Lanka by an innings

PAT Cummins has spearheaded Australia to their best week of Test cricket since the ball-tampering saga, with the home side dismantling Sri Lanka to flog them by an innings and 40 runs inside three days at the Gabba.

Cummins demolished the Sri Lankans on Saturday to have them all out for 139, claiming career-best figures of 6-23 as the tourists found his pace and bounce virtually unplayable in the day-night series opener.

With Australian cricket desperately needing a shining light heading into an Ashes year, Cummins delivered as the hosts claimed their biggest win in more than a year and only their second since Cape Town.

Sri Lanka are a struggling team but the style of the victory will please Australia.

Debutant Jhye Richardson took 2-19 to go with his three wickets from the first day, including an in-swinger to bowl Dhananjaya de Silva early on day three.

There were also positive signs with the bat, with Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne both hitting 80s, but falling short of maiden Test centuries in Australia's 323 on day two to set up the win.

Only Mitchell Starc's bowling offered a real concern ahead of next week's Test in Canberra as he continued to struggle for rhythm and consistency in his second-innings 0-56.

After Cummins dismissed Dimuth Karunaratne on the last ball of day two, he took wickets in his first two overs of Saturday's third day to leave Sri Lanka on their knees.

The Aussie quick at one stage had 3-0, removing captain Dinesh Chandimal, with a delivery that flew off the shoulder of the bat to gully for a duck, before a wildly driving Kusal Mendis edged into the slips for one.

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

Cummins made Roshen Silva his fourth when he also edged to Joe Burns at second slip on the drive, before he claimed his second five-wicket haul of the summer when Lahiru Thirimanne was caught behind for 32.

Thirimanne immediately reviewed but the decision wasn't overturned despite no hot-spot mark and a snicko noise only being picked up a frame after the ball had passed the bat.

Cummins had his maiden Test 10-wicket match haul when Kurtis Patterson took a one-handed screamer at gully to get rid of Dilrunwan Perera for eight.

It was the second great snare of the afternoon, after Marcus Harris had taken a high-jumping catch at backward-square leg to help Richardson pick up Niroshan Dickwella for 24 on the pull.

Nathan Lyon finished the job, having Suranga Lakmal stumped. The injured Lahiru Kumara (hamstring) was unable to bat.

- AAP

News Corp Australia

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