Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2013/1/6/aus-v-sri-lanka-day-4

Hussey signs off with Test win

UPDATED 31 July, 2014 9:39AM AEST | by Adam Lucius, Omnisport 2

Michael Hussey has guided Australia to an emotional five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in his final Test.

Chasing 141 on a wearing SCG pitch, Hussey finished unbeaten on 27 to ensure Australia a tense win and a 3-0 sweep of the Vodafone Test series.

The crowd was urging Hussey to hit the winning runs but that honour fell to Mitchell Johnson (1 not out) - not that Hussey cared.

"I couldn't be happier (but) I didn't want to bat at all," he said.

"I wanted us to get the runs none down.

"What a fantastic place to finish."

Hussey was given a rousing reception as he raced to the middle to bat for the last time in his 79th Test, his side rocking a little at 4-108. 

He immediately got off the mark to settle nerves in the Australian dressing-room.

The home team was in need of a cool head as Sri Lankan spinners Rangana Herath (3-46) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (1-57) did their best to bowl the tourists to their first Test win on Australian soil.

Herath proved particularly difficult to handle but in the final wash-up simply did not have enough runs to play with.

Australia started the run chase shakily with Dave Warner out for a first-ball duck just before lunch, pushing forward to a delivery from Suranga Lakmal (1-18) and edging a sharp catch to Mahela Jaywardene at second slip. 

The visitors' hopes lifted further when Phil Hughes (34) was controversially given out midway through the second session.

The Sri Lankans asked for a possible bat-pad catch to be reviewed by the third umpire, but failed on that front only to inadvertently gain a wicket LBW.

Hughes' exit left Australia vulnerable at 2-45 but with the reassuring sight of in-form skipper Michael Clarke coming to the crease.

Clarke (29) and Ed Cowan put on 59 for the third wicket, surviving incessant appeals for leg before wicket, before the captain was caught at short leg off Dilshan to put the brakes on Australia's journey.         

Cowan (36) went in the next over, unsuccessfully referring an LBW decision after he was  struck on the front pad playing half forward to Herath.   

First-innings centurion Matthew Wade (9) was bowled by Herath nine runs short of the target, leaving Hussey and Mitchell Johnson to close the game out.

Sri Lanka began the day on 7-225 and lost two quick wickets before a stubborn last-wicket stand of 41 between Dinesh Chandimal (62 not out) and No.11 Nuwan Pradeep (9) pushed the lead towards 150.

Pradeep was the last man out after resisting the Australian attack for 57 minutes.

Paceman Jackson Bird finished with seven wickets for the match, capturing 3-76 in the second innings as he was named man of the match in just his second Test.  

Chandimal combined power and placement to compile an invaluable half-century that gave his team a glimmer of hope.

Australia's run chase was anything but straightforward, but they eventually got there thanks to Hussey's cool hand.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 06 January, 2013 4:01PM AEST

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