Clarke, Watson, Johnson Add To Sri Lanka's Woes
There was more misery for Sri Lanka on day two at the MCG as Chanaka Welegedara limped off clutching his hamstring before lunch - to add to the thumb injury which Prasanna Jayawardene sustained on day one - and Michael Clarke hit another century, in doing so breaking the Australian record for most Test runs in a calendar year.
Clarke and Shane Watson batted throughout the first session before a brief Sri Lanka fightback in the second, which was stymied by a measured half-century from Mitchell Johnson in the third.
The Australian captain and his deputy had been largely untroubled up until lunch as they set about collecting runs against what was a disciplined, but unthreatening, Sri Lanka bowling attack. Both men did survive chances just before the break - Kumar Sangakkara missed a difficult stumping offered by Clarke and Mahela Jayawardene grassed a relatively straightforward chance at slip - but by lunch Clarke had broken Ricky Ponting’s record for most runs in a calendar year and had taken his fourth-wicket partnership with Watson to 121.
They continued after the resumption, with Clarke completing his first century at the MCG before driving loosely at Shaminda Eranga, who was rewarded for being the most threatening of Sri Lanka’s bowlers with the first wicket of the day. Watson fell in the next over, hooking Dhammika Prasad to Thilan Samaraweera on the square-leg boundary, to again fall short of a century, while Mathew Wade made just one and also fell to Prasad.
That made it three wickets in four overs for Sri Lanka and they must have sensed a quick kill. However, Mike Hussey found more than adequate support from Mitchell Johnson and proceeded to add 61 with him either side of tea. Hussey eventually went to the part-time offerings of Tillakaratne Dilshan courtesy of a brilliant catch from Rangana Herath on the boundary, but Johnson remained resolute and unbeaten. He passed 50 and ended on 73 not out; extending Australia’s lead to 284 by the close.
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