Michael Clarke’s first hundred in 24 Test innings and another brilliant
knock by evergreen Michael Hussey ensured the Australian captain emerged
victorious from his first full series in the top job.
scored 112 while Hussey made 93 as Australia were bowled out for 488, a
lead of 331 runs on day five of the third and final Test against Sri
Lanka in Colombo.
Sri Lanka only faced two overs in their second innings, making 0-7 before play was called off and the match declared a draw.
result was all Australia needed to take out the three-match series 1-0
and move above Sri Lanka into fourth on the world Test rankings.
first Test century since his 168 against New Zealand in Wellington in
March 2010, was a brilliant mix of patience and aggression as the
30-year-old led from the front to ensure Sri Lanka had no chance of
levelling the series with a win at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground.
took the game away from Sri Lanka after the hosts gave themselves some
hope with the early dismissal of Phillip Hughes for 126 in the morning
The NSW left-hander’s demise to impressive spinner
Rangana Herath (7-157), who passed the 100 Test wicket milestone with
his career-best haul, effectively left Australia 4-63.
and Hussey made sure there would be no upset as they put on a 176-run
partnership for the fifth wicket at more than four runs an over.
knock didn’t come without its moments, twice he could have been stumped
if wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene had cleanly taken the ball, but on
the whole it was the sort of timely knock the right-hander has often
been accused of not playing in his 72-Test career.
Herath tired, Clarke went on the offensive, smashing the left-armer for
a four and a six to pass his 50 before lunch.
captain stepped up his onslaught after lunch, hitting another six off
Herath before posting his century with the 14th boundary of his knock,
again off Herath.
The spinner gained some revenge closing in on
tea when Clarke chipped him to Tharanga Paranavitana to end his innings
and give Herath his fifth wicket.
Hussey’s own contribution
continued a fine series for the veteran left-hander, during which he has
scored 463 runs at an average of 92.60 including two centuries and two
half-centuries though he was denied a second century in the match when
he was caught off the bowling of Tillakaratne Dilshan (1-62) shortly
Australia’s innings then petered out in a flurry of late wickets but the match was already safe and series won.