Tuesday 20 November 2007 

Australia Wrap Up Win Despite Fighting Sri Lankan Effort

Australia 542-5 declared (Jaques 150) & 210-2 declared (Jaques 68)
Sri Lanka 246 (M Jayawardene 104) & 410 (Sangakkara 192)
Australia won by 96 runs and win the series 2-0

Australia were made to work hard for a 96-run victory over Sri Lanka on the final day of the second Test in Hobart.

Sri Lanka had been set a record 507 to win and batted excellently to reach 410, with Kumar Sangakkara hitting a blistering 192 and Lasith Malinga an unbeaten 42.

Resuming on 210 for three, Sangakkara added a further 55 with Sanath Jayasuriya (45) before the veteran left-hander was caught by Adam Gilchrist off of Brett Lee.

Sangakkara stood firm as wickets clattered at the other end; Mitchell Johnson removed Chamara Silva and Prasanna Jayawardene for ducks with consecutive deliveries, Farveez Maharoof made four before holing out to Stuart MacGill and Dilhara Fernando was the eighth man to fall for two, run out.

That left Sangakkara with Malinga, and the pair enterprisingly added 74 for the ninth wicket before Sangakkara was caught by Ricky Ponting off the bowling of Stuart Clark eight short of another double-century. He was unlucky, as the ball struck his shoulder before helmet, with Rudi Koertzen later apologising for mistakenly raising the finger.

If the Australians thought it was game up, they had another think coming as Malinga combined with Muttiah Muralitharan (15) to add another 46 runs before Muralitharan was bowled by Lee to signal the end of their plucky resistance.

Lee finished with figures of four for 87, Johnson with three for 101 as Australia completed a 2-0 series victory.

"The end results probably say that this series has been easy win for us but there's a lot of hard work that goes into winning any test match," Australia captain Ricky Ponting told a news conference.

"We played well in the first test in Brisbane and we carried a fair bit of that over into this game in Hobart.

"Once again, I thought our batting on day one and most of day two was absolutely outstanding and set the game up early and Brett led the way again with the ball."

"I felt we had a very good team, a good attack but the way we played wasn't very consistent," a disappointed Mahela Jayawardene said.

"We couldn't penetrate that top order, which was very disappointing. And the way we batted was disappointing as well - particularly the first innings we played in both test matches.

"That gave us a lot of problems in the whole series. It's a very disappointing series."

© Cricket World 2007