Sanga and Mahela lead Sri Lanka's fight-back
Kumar Sangakkara hit an unbeaten 61 in his 100th Test as Sri Lanka
responded bravely to Australia's 316 in the third and final game of the
series in Colombo on Saturday.
Sri Lanka, seeking a series-levelling win, closed the second day at
166-2 in their first innings after a batting masterclass from Michael
Hussey had steered the tourists out of trouble at the Sinhalese Sports
Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara who remained unbeaten on 61
plays a shot on the 2nd day of the Third Test against
Australia at the SSC Grounds yesterday Pic : Kavindra Perera
Mahela Jayawardene chipped in with 31 not out in a third-wicket stand
of 69 with Sangakkara to leave the hosts 150 runs behind with eight
wickets in hand. Hussey followed a match-winning 95 in the first Test in
Galle and 142 in the drawn second game at Pallekele with a fluent 118
studded with 12 boundaries and two sixes.
The left-hander, a veteran of 62 Tests, passed 5,000 Test runs on way
to his 15th century - the fourth against Sri Lanka.
The 36-year-old's value to the team can be guaged by the fact that he
has scored four of Australia's last six Test centuries, the other two
coming from the blades of Brad Haddin and Shaun Marsh. The hosts began
their reply slowly as the left-handed opening pair of Tharanga
Paranavitana and Lahiru Thirimanne took 25 overs to put on 56 on the
board. Thirimanne, a 22-year-old playing only his second Test, scored a
watchful 28 off 80 balls when he was bowled by seamer Peter Siddle just
before tea. Paranavitana made 46 when he fell to a sharp catch at short
cover by Ricky Ponting off Mitchell Johnson to leave Sri Lanka 97-2.
But Sangakkara and Jayawardene, whose partnership of 624 against
South Africa at the same venue in 2006 is a world record for any wicket,
settled in to build Sri Lanka's reply.
Hussey was last man out for Australia, bowled by debutant seamer
Shaminda Eranga, who finished with four for 65 after taking a wicket
with his first delivery in Test cricket on Friday.
Left-arm seamer Chanaka Welegedara claimed three for 75, while
new-ball partner Suranga Lakmal took 2-60.
Brad Haddin put on 75 for the sixth wicket with Hussey when Australia
resumed the day at 235-5 before he was the first batsman to be removed
in the morning session, caught behind off Eranga.
Hussey reached the 5,000-run mark with two consecutive boundaries off
Welegedara that took his score to 99. Hussey then watched from the other
end as Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle were dismissed off successive
balls by Welegedera, but Trent Copeland denied the seamer a hat-trick.
Hussey reached his century with a flick off Rangana Herath for a
single, earning himself warm applause from his team-mates in the
dressing room and 2,000 fans at the ground. -AFP
AUSTRALIA - 1ST INNINGS
S. Watson c Dilshan b Eranga 08
P. Hughes b Lakmal 00
S. Marsh b Herath 81
R. Ponting c P. Jayawardene b Lakmal 48
M. Clarke c P. Jayawardene b Eranga 06
M. Hussey b Eranga 118
B. Haddin c P. Jayawardene b Eranga 35
M. Johnson c Herath b Welegedara 08
P. Siddle c Paranavitana b Welegedara 00
T. Copeland c M. J'dene b Welegedara 01
N. Lyon not out 03
Extras (lb4, nb3, w1) 08
Total (all out, 104.3 overs) 316
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Hughes), 2-22 (Watson), 3-101 (Ponting)
4-120 (Clarke), 5-190 (Marsh), 6-265 (Haddin)
7-293 (Johnson), 8-293 (Siddle), 9-295 (Copeland)
Bowling: Welegedara 21-6-75-3
Lakmal 21-3-60-2 (nb3)
Eranga 23.3-6-65-4 (w1)
SRI LANKA - 1ST INNINGS
T. Paranavitana c Ponting b Johnson 46
L. Thirimanne b Siddle 28
K. Sangakkara not out 61
M. Jayawardene not out 31
Total (two wkts in 65 overs) 166
Fall of wickets: 1-56 (Thirimanne), 2-97 (Paranavitana).
Bowling: Copeland 15-5-34-0