Marsh And Hussey Help Australia Rebuild
Australia 235-5 (Marsh 81, Hussey 63no) v Sri Lanka
Third Test, Colombo, day one
Half-centuries from Shaun Marsh and Michael Hussey helped Australia rebuild after losing two early wickets - including one to Shaminda Eranga's first ball in Test cricket - on day one of the third and final match against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Marsh followed up his debut Test century with 81, batting at number three despite the return of Ricky Ponting, while Hussey was unbeaten on 63 as his golden run of form continued.
Usman Khawaja was the man who missed out to accommodate Ponting, who missed the second match to be at the birth of his second daughter, while Michael Clarke and Hussey dropped down one place in the order as Marsh retained his spot at number three.
Fast bowler Peter Siddle replaced Ryan Harris, who has a slight hamstring strain while Sri Lanka also made two changes with Lahiru Thirmanne coming into the side in place of Thilan Samaraweera and debutant Eranga replacing off-spinner Suraj Randiv.
Eranga's instant impact came when he had Shane Watson (8) caught by Dilshan and at that stage Australia were 22 for two after Phillip Hughes had failed to score before he was bowled by Suranga Lakmal.
Marsh and Ponting, who made 48, then took Australia out of immediate danger with a 79-run stand for the third wicket which was broken when Ponting was caught by Prasanna Jayawardene off Lakmal.
Clarke (6) then chased a wide ball to hand Jayawardene another catch and Eranga a second wicket and Marsh's seemingly inexorable progress towards a second straight century was ended when he was bowled by left-arm spinner Rangana Herath for 81 in 207 balls.
Hussey then scored his 26th Test half-century, closing on 63 in 107 balls with Brad Haddin (21 not out) for company when bad light curtailed play early.
Australia lead the series 1-0 after a 125-run win in Galle was followed by a rain-affected draw in Pallekele.
© Cricket World 2011