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Head, Labuschagne put Australia firmly in control
Sri Lanka tour of Australia

Head, Labuschagne put Australia firmly in control

Half-centuries from Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne put Australia firmly in command of the Brisbane Test against Sri Lanka.

Head struck a career-best 84 and Labuschagne posted 81 as Australia amassed 323 to hold an imposing 179-run innings lead over the Sri Lanka after the second day.

Sri Lanka suffered another blow as they lost Dimuth Karunaratne on the last ball of the day by Pat Cummins for three as the tourists had to negotiate a tricky six overs facing the pink ball under lights.

Karunaratne was snapped up by Tim Paine as Sri Lanka reached stumps at 17 for one with Lahiru Thirimanne on six to trail by 162 runs overall and battling to avoid defeat with three days left.

Head was trapped in front of the stumps by Suranga Lakmal, meaning no Australian batsman has now scored a Test century in nine innings against India and Sri Lanka this summer.

Labuschagne was out shortly before dinner also with a maiden Test century beckoning.

Pat Cummins was unable to get off the mark in 21 balls before he was turned around by Dushmantha Chameera and tickled a catch behind to Niroshan Dickwella.

Skipper Paine was out first ball, edging a Lakmal outswinger to Kusal Mendis at second slip for a splendid low catch and young Test newcomer Kurtis Patterson showed promising resilience to bat for 82 balls before he was out leg-before to Lakmal for 30.

Head and Labuschagne stitched a 166-run partnership for the fifth wicket to seize the momentum and put Australia in command after losing two wickets in the opening session chasing Sri Lanka's paltry 144.

Marcus Harris was out in the first over of the day, spooning a cut shot to Thirimanne at point off Lahiru Kumara for 44 after adding just four to his overnight score.

Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon was out three overs later for one, caught at second slip by Mendis off Lakmal, leaving the Australians at 82 for four in the 29th over.

The Brisbane Test is the first of a two-match series against Sri Lanka.