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Sri Lanka Batsmen, Rain Frustrate Australia’s Bid for Test Win

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Dec. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Australia was frustrated by resistance from Sri Lanka’s batsmen and rain delays in its bid to win their series-opening cricket Test on the final day.

Australia took one wicket in each of the first two sessions on day five in Hobart as Sri Lanka reached 186-4 at the tea break needing a team-record 393 to force an unlikely victory. Showers twice interrupted play after lunch.

Kumar Sangakkara scored 63 off 226 balls to thwart the home team’s attempts to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three contest after the tourists resumed at 65-2. Thilan Samaraweera was 38 not out from 112 balls at the final interval, with Angelo Mathews taking 53 deliveries to reach 11.

Australian wicket-keeper Matthew Wade bowled the last over before the break in an effort to end the partnership as batsman Phil Hughes took his place behind the stumps. With a minimum of 36 overs remaining, the draw is the most likely result according to Australian bookmaker Tabcorp Holdings Ltd.

Mahela Jayawardene was the only wicket to fall during the morning session when Michael Clarke, who injured his right hamstring yesterday, took a low catch at slip off Peter Siddle’s bowling to dismiss his rival captain for 19. Siddle also trapped Sangakkara leg-before-wicket.

Sri Lanka’s previous biggest fourth-innings total to win a Test was 352-9 against South Africa in Colombo six years ago.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Baynes at dbaynes@bloomberg.net

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