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Nathan Lyon shines with five wickets on day one of first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle

Nathan Lyon got his first five-wicket haul in Sri Lanka since his Test debut back in 2011. (AP: Eranga Jayawardena)

Not four months after Shane Warne's death, Australia's men's side has started the quest for the trophy named in his honour with a superb display of spin bowling on day one of Australia's first Test in Sri Lanka.

There were a number of tributes for Warne at Galle International Stadium, and a plaque was presented to Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley honouring the man who took 59 of his 708 Test wickets against Sri Lanka.

The Warne-Muralitharan Trophy is named for the Australian leg-spinner and Sri Lankan off-spinner, and both would have enjoyed watching elite displays of their crafts on the first day of the two-Test series.

Nathan Lyon took 5-90 with his offies, and leg-spinner Mitch Swepson finished with the best figures of his three-Test career — finishing with 3-55 after being on a hat-trick at one point in the second session.

Captain Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc chimed in with a wicket each to dismiss Sri Lanka for 212 from 59 overs.

After a confident start to the Australian innings in response, opener David Warner was trapped by Ramesh Mendis, LBW for 25, continuing his lean run with the bat.

David Warner has not scored a Test century since January 2020. (Getty: Buddhika Weerasinghe)

Warner is without a century and averaging jut under 30 in 18 Test innings since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Marnus Labuschagne also fell to Mendis, while Steve Smith was run out for 6 when he fell victim to a mix-up between the stumps with Usman Khawaja, who finished day one 47 not out, alongside Travis Head (6*), with Australia 3-98 at stumps.

Perhaps anticipating a pitch that would be a nightmare to bat on last, Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and chose to bat, but wickets fell at a steady pace throughout the innings, with seamers Cummins and Starc kicking things off with the wickets of Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis.

But from there it was all-out spin on the sharply turning surface, and while Sri Lanka made it to lunch without incurring any more damage, Lyon had Karunaratne caught expertly by a diving Warner at slip in the third over after the break.

Swepson had Dhananjaya de Silva and Dinesh Chandimal in successive deliveries not long after that — the second falling to a sharp, juggled catch by Warner — but Niroshan Dickwella calmly swept away the would-be hat-trick ball.

Mitch Swepson was on a hat-trick after lunch, but could not get that third wicket. (AP: Eranga Jayawardena)

The wicketkeeper's 58 off 59 balls was the top score for Sri Lanka but he, like Angelo Mathews and Mendis before him, fell victim to the raging Lyon.

Tail-ender Lasith Embuldeniya was removed by a superb leaping catch from Khawaja to give Lyon his first five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka since his first Test innings on the same ground way back in 2011.

Swepson finished the innings with Jeffrey Vandersay caught in the deep for 6.