Hussey Holds Australia Together In Galle
Australia 273 (Hussey 95, Ponting 44) v Sri Lanka
First Test, Galle, day one
Australia were bowled out for 273 on day one of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle with Michael Hussey scoring 95 to help them post a competitive score on a slow, turning track.
The tourists got off to a fast start but were eventually pegged back by Suranga Lakmal and Rangana Herath, who both picked up three wickets.
Hussey was the last man to fall, trapped in front by captain Tillakaratne Dilshan as he tried to plunder runs having been left with debutant Nathan Lyon at the other end.
He hit seven fours and three sixes in a patient knock that spanned 177 deliveries and held Australia's innings together with some measured sweeping and powerful driving before some brutal straight hits once he decided to chance his arm.
Shane Watson (22 in 19 balls) raced out of the blocks with five boundaries before the introduction of spin in just the seventh over slowed the scoring and saw him superbly caught by wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene off Herath before Phillip Hughes was surprised by a Lakmal lifter and was held by Tharanga Paranavitana at slip for 12.
Former captain Ricky Ponting (44) and his successor Michael Clarke (23) then joined forces but they were separated just before lunch with the score on 91 when Clarke was trapped in front by Herath.
Ponting faced 83 balls and was looking nicely set before he losted Herath into the deep where Angelo Mathews held a simple catch.
Usman Khawaja, who was preferred to Shaun Marsh for the number six spot, looked fluent enough but never hinted at much permanency and he was bowled for 21 by Chanaka Welagedara.
Brad Haddin thumped three fours and a six in a brief cameo of 24, all the while Hussey accumulating at the other end before the dismissals of Mitchell Johnson (14) and Ryan Harris (1) left him little choice but to press on.
Trent Copeland played gamely in making 12 but as Hussey just missed his milestone, Sri Lanka were closing the day in a much stronger position than they might have been given that they lost the toss, were invited to field and watched as Australia at 112 for three almost had a platform from which to bat well into day two.
Lakmal's three for 55, Herath's three for 54, a brace from Suraj Randiv and one apiece for Dilshan and Welagedara ensured that they were unable to do so.
© Cricket World 2011