COLOMBO - Steve O'Keefe, the left-arm spinner, used the bounce available on the P Sara Oval surface to make a potent start to his first Test tour of Sri Lanka. He claimed wickets in batches to finish with 5 for 43 as Sri Lankan XI were bowled out for 229 on the the opening day of their three-day fixture. Meanwhile, Nathan Lyon, the offspinner, went for 72 in 13 wicketless overs.

But it is unlikely that Australia will depose senior spinner Lyon given his good returns through the recent home summer. O Keefe's success, though, may breed confidence in a potential dual-spin attack as the team is likely to encounter pitches that are significantly drier than this surface.

Mitchell Starc and Jackson Bird took two wickets each, and Mitchell Marsh one, before Joe Burns struck an unbeaten half-century in the evening session. The visitors ended the day on 127 for the loss of Shaun Marsh for 47.

For the Sri Lankan XI, Milinda Siriwardana composed a measured half-century to boost his chances of being in the Test squad, although a century may have all but sealed his berth. He shared the innings' biggest stand of 101, for the fourth wicket, with Asela Gunaratne, who struck 58.

Chaturanga de Silva was Lyon's major tormentor in the second session, as he clubbed 10 fours on his way to a 59-ball 49. Dasun Shanaka - de Silva's partner in a rapid seventh-wicket partnership worth 75 - fell to Steve Smith's second exceptional slip catch of the day; Smith climbed high and fast to his right to end Shanaka's innings at 39. The Sri Lankans attempted to attack both spinners through much of the day, but O'Keefe proved difficult to hit away.

BRIEF SCORES: Australians 127 for 1 (Burns 64*, Marsh 47) trail Sri Lankan XI 229 (Gunaratne 58, Siriwardena 53, de Silva 49, O'Keefe 5-43) by 102 runs.