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Australia Routs Sri Lanka to Seal Test Cricket Series Win

Australia routed Sri Lanka by a record innings and 201 runs to win their Test cricket series with a match to spare.

Australia bowled out an injury-depleted Sri Lanka for 103 midway through day three after taking a 304-run first-innings lead. Man of the match Mitchell Johnson got a run out and took two wickets after hitting 92 not out to lift Australia to 460.

“The way that we came out there and bowled was unbelievable,” Johnson said at the presentation ceremony. “We started off really well with the ball and just continued on.”

It was the biggest victory margin in 25 elite Tests between the teams and gave Australia an unbeatable 2-0 lead heading into the series finale in Sydney starting Jan. 3.

Needing 304 to make Australia bat a second time after scoring 156 on day one, Sri Lanka was dismissed in 24.2 overs today. Kumar Sangakkara retired hurt with a hand injury when on 27, while Prasanna Jayawardene and Chanaka Welegedara were unable to bat after getting injured earlier in the match.

Sangakkara and Welegedara will miss the remainder of Sri Lanka’s tour, while Australia vice-captain Shane Watson is out of the Sydney Test because of a calf injury. He was replaced in the 13-man squad by off-spinning allrounder Glenn Maxwell.

Johnson Stranded

The home team had resumed day three at 440-8 and added 20 runs to its total as Johnson was left stranded eight runs short of his second Test century.

The left-arm paceman then ran out Dimuth Karunaratne in the third ball of Sri Lanka’s second innings with a diving lunge and had Tillakaratne Dilshan caught by Ed Cowan at short leg in the next delivery.

Jackson Bird bowled Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene off an inside edge with the last ball of the next over to leave the tourists reeling at 3-3. Test debutant Bird returned in the fifth over to trap Thilan Samaraweera leg-before-wicket.

Johnson, who fractured wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene’s right thumb in Sri Lanka’s first innings, struck Sangakkara on his left index finger, forcing him to leave the field and putting him out of the rest of Sri Lanka’s tour along with Welegedara, who has a torn hamstring.

“These are things we can’t control,” the Sri Lanka skipper said at a televised news conference. “Kumar has got a fracture so he’s definitely going to be out for the rest of the series. We want to give Prasanna a few more days. It’s a small fracture.”

Six Wickets

In his next over, Johnson hit Dhammika Prasad on the hand and the batsman had an on-field discussion with medical staff before batting on. Four balls later, Angelo Mathews dragged a delivery onto his stumps to make it 74-5 and give Johnson six wickets for the match.

Prasad was caught out when attempting to hit Australian spinner Nathan Lyon for a third straight six before Peter Siddle removed Shaminda Eranga without scoring to wrap up the victory with the remaining two Sri Lankans unable to bat.

Mathews earlier dismissed Lyon for 1 in the third over after the start of play was delayed 15 minutes by rain and Bird was bowled by Eranga without scoring. Prasad took 3-106 to finish as Sri Lanka’s best bowler, while Eranga claimed 3-109.

Australia captain Michael Clarke yesterday top scored with 106, breaking Ricky Ponting’s national record for Test runs in a calendar year. Clarke said he was impressed by the ruthlessness shown by his team in sealing the win in 2 1/2 days.

“We spoke before the start of play about how important today was for this team,” Clarke said at the presentation. “Considering we were on top in the game, a 300-run lead, we had to come and bowl well and execute our plans. Our goal was to win the Test today.”

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