Test debutant does damage

Jhye Richardson celebrates his first Test wicket.
Jhye Richardson celebrates his first Test wicket.

YOUNG fast bowler Jhye Richardson made his mark early as Australia dominated play on day one of the first Test against Sri Lanka at the Gabba.

Richardson produced a scintillating performance to claim 3-26 from his first 14 overs in Test cricket and have Sri Lanka reeling to be 8-122 at tea.

Richardson's inclusion in the side raised some eyebrows but those same brows were swiftly lowered.

The Perth-based right-armer troubled both openers with swing and pace before removing skipper Denish Chandimal for 5.

A peach of a delivery to remove dangerman Kusal Mendis (14) reaffirmed the young man's talent and he then had Dhananjay de Silva caught by skipper Tim Paine for 5 to at one stage have figures of 3-17 with Sri Lanka at 5-90.

And his talents haven't escaped the eye of expert Kerry O'Keeffe who believes Richardson could be a key weapon during the upcoming Ashes series.

"This kid from Western Australia Jhye Richardson is a gold nugget," O'Keeffe said on Fox Sports.

"He's swung it more than anyone.

"Australia's been searching for a bowler who can swing the red ball - he's got a pink one today - and he's moving it away from the right-handers quite alarmingly.

"The Chandimal delivery was impressive, getting one of the best players in world out searching outside off stump … he'll treasure that wicket but I think we've found the fourth fast-bowling cog after the top three (Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins).

Jhye Richardson struck gold.
Jhye Richardson struck gold.

"I think he's a shoo-in for the Ashes; he'll move the Duke ball, he's a legitimate out-swing bowler to the right-handers and he can make it go reverse. We've found a good one."

Richardson's father Jim was delighted with his son's early success as he watched from the stands.

"We wouldn't have missed it for the world," he said.

"It's the end of a long journey. He's a great kid and he's worked so hard for this, he deserves it."

While Richardson was impressing on debut, veteran fast bowler Mitchell Starc notched his 200th wicket when he dismissed Suranga Lakmal for 7.

Starc speared the cherry into Lakmal's pads from around the wicket, with the tailender providing a leading edge to Marnus Labuschagne in the slips cordon.

Starc had his second scalp when he dismissed Dilruwan Perera, who had earlier been forced from the field after being hit on the hand by a Pat Cummins bouncer.

Niroshan Dickwella provided some hope for the tourists, unbeaten on 42 runs at tea.