Australia took a 48-run lead over Sri Lanka on day two of their third cricket Test in Sydney as the home team seeks to sweep the series 3-0.
Phil Hughes top scored with 87, while opener David Warner smashed 85 and captain Michael Clarke hit 50 to help lift Australia to 342-6 at the close of play after bowling Sri Lanka out for 294 on day one.
Sri Lanka fought back to restrict the scoring rate after Australia had raced to 127-1 at the lunch break. Warner and Clarke were caught when playing attacking shots to spin bowlers, while Ed Cowan and Mike Hussey got run out.
“It’s going to be very tough from here on but the great thing is that we certainly haven’t been blown away,” Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford said at a news conference. “We’ll take a lot of heart from that.”
Matthew Wade, promoted up a spot to No. 6 in the batting order, was unbeaten on 47 at stumps after the umpire’s decision to give him out to a bat-pad catch when on 22 was reversed on review. Peter Siddle will resume on 16.
Hughes and Warner earlier fell short of centuries, though combined for a 130-run partnership after Cowan was run out for 4 when he hesitated while going for a second run.
Warner struck 85 from 84 balls before skying a catch to Dhammika Prasad off part-time spin-bowler Tillakaratne Dilshan, while Hughes was nearing his fourth Test century when he edged a Rangana Herath delivery to wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal.
Hussey Run Out
Hussey, who announced his surprise retirement from international cricket on Dec. 29, then shared a 50-run stand with Clarke before getting run out by a direct hit from Dimuth Karunaratne when on 25. Hussey had been given a guard of honor by the Sri Lankan players before facing his first delivery.
“It’s never nice to get run outs,” Hughes said. “Two in one day in Test cricket is a bit disappointing. It’s something we’re going to have to fix going forward. I think there’s been four in the series now.”
Herath then removed Clarke, Test cricket’s top run-scorer in 2012, when the Australian skipper played a slog-sweep shot that swirled to Karunaratne at midwicket.
Australia edged past Sri Lanka’s total before Nuwan Pradeep had Mitchell Johnson caught behind for 13 to make it 307-6. Wade and Siddle then added late impetus to the scoring rate with their unbeaten 35-run partnership.