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Sunday, 18 September 2011

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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 Club.


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

		Scoreboard

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)
		 10-316 (Hussey)
Bowling: Welegedara 21-6-75-3
	 Lakmal 21-3-60-2 (nb3)
	 Eranga 23.3-6-65-4 (w1)
	 Herath 27-5-78-1
	 Dilshan 12-0-34-0

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	
Extras	  					00
Total (two wkts in 65 overs)		       166
Fall of wickets: 1-56 (Thirimanne), 2-97 (Paranavitana).
Bowling: Copeland 15-5-34-0
	 Siddle 11-3-25-1
	 Johnson 11-0-49-1
	 Watson 11-5-20-0
	 Lyon 15-2-33-0
	 Hussey 2-1-5-0

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