Hussey ends on a high as Aussies clean sweep SL
SYDNEY, Jan 6: Michael Hussey ended his Test career on a high on Sunday when Australia beat Sri Lanka by five wickets with a day to spare in the third and final Test to sweep the series 3-0.
The 37-year-old was deprived of the ultimate fairytale ending when his batting partner Mitchell Johnson scored the winning run but Hussey, ever the team man, was not remotely concerned.
“It couldn’t have ended any better,” he said after being applauded off the pitch by both teams at the end of his 79th Test. “I feel very proud to have worn the baggy green cap.”
Australia, chasing 141 runs to win the Test, lost three wickets in quick succession just before tea to bring Hussey out for his final test innings before retirement with the hosts just five runs shy of victory and when Johnson pushed the ball wide of point for his only run of the innings, Hussey was already halfway down the pitch.
“I was telling Mitch the over before if it comes up that you hit it, then I’m more than happy to let us get this over and done with,” said Hussey, who finished unbeaten on 27 for a career average of 51.52. “But I was more than happy to be out there when the winning run was hit. A dream come true.”
Australia had dismissed the tourists for 278 before lunch to set up the run chase but they inched nervously towards the target after David Warner had departed for a duck without a run on the board.
Seamer Suranga Lakmal had the opener caught in the slips by his captain Mahela Jayawardene but it was the spin-bowling of Tillakaratne Dilshan and particularly Rangana Herath that was always going to provide most problems.
The peace of a hot afternoon at the SCG was punctuated by the loud appeals of the Sri Lankans.
Jayawardene, so profligate with his appeals to the TV umpire in this series, made the most of his first of the innings to remove Phil Hughes for 34.
Clarke came to the crease for another duel with Herath. In the end though, it was the spin of Dilshan which removed the Australia skipper for 29 although opener Ed Cowan (36) and Matthew Wade (9) did fall victim to Herath.
The crowd had already started chanting Hussey’s name before Clarke’s dismissal in the hope he would get out to bat again in his final test after being run-out in the first innings and they got their wish.
Sri Lanka had resumed on 225-7 in the morning looking to bulk up their lead of 87 and give their bowlers something to work with. Dinesh Chandimal hit a defiant 62 not out off 106 balls but ran out of partners when Jackson Bird had Nuwan Pradeep caught behind for nine half an hour before lunch. —Reuters
SRI LANKA (1st Innings) 294 (H.D.R.L. Thirimanne 91, D.P.M.D. Jayawardene 72; J.M. Bird 4-41, M.A. Starc 3-71).
AUSTRALIA (1st Innings) 432-9 declared (M.S. Wade 102 not out, P.J. Hughes 87, D.A. Warner 85, M.J. Clarke 50; H.M.R.K.B. Herath 4-95).
SRI LANKA (2nd Innings, overnight 225-7):
F.D.M. Karunaratne c Wade b Bird 85
T.M. Dilshan c Hughes b Johnson 5
D.P.M.D. Jayawardene c Clarke b Siddle 60
H.D.R.L. Thirimanne c Bird b Johnson 7
T.T. Samaraweera c Hussey b Lyon 0
A.D. Mathews run out 16
L.D. Chandimal not out 62
K.T.G.D. Prasad c Wade b Starc 15
H.M.R.K.B. Herath b Bird 10
R.A.S. Lakmal b Johnson 0
N. Pradeep c Wade b Bird 9
EXTRAS (B-1, LB-4, W-1, NB-3) 9
TOTAL (all out, 81.2 overs) 278
FALL OF WKTS: 1-24, 2-132, 3-155, 4-158, 5-178, 6-178, 7-202, 8-235, 9-237.
BOWLING: Starc 12-1-49-1; Bird 21.2-5-76-3 (3nb), Johnson 15-3-34-3 (1w); Siddle 17-4-42-1; Lyon 15-1-66-1; Hussey 1-0-6-0.
AUSTRALIA (2nd Innings):
E.J.M. Cowan lbw b Herath 36
D.A. Warner c Jayawardene b Lakmal 0
P.J. Hughes lbw b Herath 34
M.J. Clarke c Thirimanne b Dilshan 29
M.E.K. Hussey not out 27
M.S. Wade b Herath 9
M.G. Johnson not out 1
EXTRAS (B-4, LB-1) 5
TOTAL (for five wkts; 42.5 overs) 141
FALL OF WKTS: 1-0, 2-45, 3-104, 4-108, 5-132.
BOWLING: Dilshan 18-2-57-1; Lakmal 6-1-18-1; Herath 16.5-0-47-3; Pradeep 2-0-14-0.
RESULT: Australia won by five wickets to win series 3-0.
UMPIRES: Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and A.L. Hill (New Zealand).
TV UMPIRE: N.J. Llong (England).
MATCH REFEREE: B.C. Broad (England).
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Jackson Bird.
MAN-OF-THE-SERIES: Michael Clarke.
FIRST TEST: Hobart, Australia won by 137 runs.
SECOND TEST: Melbourne, Australia won by an innings and 201 runs.