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The Weather played spoilsport during parts of Day 2 of the first test between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart. That didn't prevent Mike Hussey from notching up the first century of the series, and also encouraged Australian skipper Michael Clarke to make a premature declaration at 450-5 in an effort to force a result. Clarke's decision paid rich dividends as Sri Lanka slumped to 87-4 at the close of play with the wickets being shared around by the Australian bowlers. Tillakaratne Dilshan will be key for Sri Lanka's hopes of getting anything for this game, ending the day unbeaten on 50.
After a delayed start to proceedings this morning, Sri Lanka made the perfect start to their day with the ball with Shaminda Eranga removing Clarke, caught in the slips for 74. Given the Australian skipper's penchant for scoring big runs this summer it was a huge wicket for the Lankans.
Matthew Wade joined Mike Hussey out in the middle, and the two left-handers went about their business of accumulating runs. Sri Lanka were able to get 24 overs in before lunch, and Australia weathered the early storm to reach 364-5. Wade was fortunate to be around, dropped by substitute Suraj Randiv off Welegedara when the batsman was on 20. Hussey brought up his half-century in 114 balls, an unusually sedate effort from the in-form batsman.
He picked up the scoring rate considerably though after getting to his half-century, bringing up his second 50 in just 57 balls. He was fortunate though to get to the landmark, as his attempted pull off Eranga when on 96 went straight down the throat of Angelo Mathews in the deep, but the Sri Lanka vice-captain fluffed the chance.
Australia continued to chase some quick runs, and the unexpected declaration came with the score at 450.
Sri Lanka's opening duo of Dimuth Karunaratne and Tillakaratne Dilshan survived a brief 7 over burst from the Australian bowlers to head into Tea unscathed at 21-0.
Australia came out firing on all cylinders in the final session, and struck almost instantly. Karunaratne fell for 14 caught behind off Ben Hilfenhaus in just the third over of the session. He was replaced by another left-hander in the elegant Kumar Sangakkara. It was not to be Sanga's day though as he made just 4 before nicking Peter Siddle to Michael Hussey at gully.
Sri Lanka needed a partnership, and the pressure was on skipper Mahela Jayawardene to deliver. Mahela struck a couple of early boundary to race to double digits, but fell victim to a straight delivery from the wicket-to-wicket bowling of Shane Watson as Sri Lanka slumped to 70-3.
With just 8 overs left before the close of play, Sri Lanka would have hoped to escape the day without any further casualties, however, they lost Thilan Samaraweera for 7 in the final over with Nathan Lyon getting the veteran caught behind.
Australia: David Warner, Ed Cowan, Michael Clarke (c), Michael Hussey, Shane Watson, Phillip Hughes, Matthew Wade (wk), Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon.
Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (c), Angelo Mathews, Thilan Samaraweera, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Tharanga Paranavitana, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chanaka Welegedera.
Australia 1st Innings 450-5 declared (131 overs, 3.43rpo)
P Hughes 87 (166) C Welegedara 3-99
M Hussey 115* (184) S Eranga 1-60
Sri Lanka 1st Innings 87-4 (29.1 overs, 2.98rpo)
T Dilshan 50* (85) N Lyon 1-0
- 17/12/2012 10:50 - England wrap up historic series win as Nagpur Test ends in a tame draw
- 16/12/2012 11:22 - Sri Lanka concede 114 runs first innings lead despite Dilshan ton, Australia 27-0 at the end of Day 3
- 16/12/2012 11:07 - England on the verge of series win heading into Final Day in Nagpur