Australia's Peter Siddle acknowledges the crowd after
taking five wickets during the third day's play in the
first cricket test against Sri Lanka at Bellerive Oval in
Hobart. REUTERS/David Gray
Peter Siddle grabbed five wickets to help Australia to a
141-run lead at the end of the third day of the first test but
only after a brilliant 147 from Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne
Dilshan had stalled the hosts for much of the day.
Openers Ed Cowan (16) and David Warner (eight) added 27
without loss to Australia's first innings tally of 450 for
five declared before the close of play, despite a rain
disruption and some tight bowling from the Sri Lankans.
Dilshan earlier put on 161 in a record partnership with all
rounder Angelo Mathews (75) to drive the tourists to 336 all
out after they had resumed in a big hole at 87-4 in the
Siddle finally separated them when he trapped Mathews lbw
before tea after two sessions of frustration for Australia,
which were compounded by an injury to seamer Ben Hilfenhaus.
Opener Dilshan followed soon afterwards - the victim of a
superb yorker from left-armer Mitchell Starc - and Siddle
then skittled the tail to finish with figures of 5-54.
"After lunch, we came out and attacked and bowled our
partnerships, bowled the way we wanted to, built the pressure
and got the rewards that were warranted," Siddle told
"It's just about pressing forward tomorrow morning. Obviously
it's going to be hard for the batters, but they'll dig in.
"We've just got to go from there, see how many runs we get
to. It's going to be a tight finish, that's for sure."
Hilfenhaus managed just two balls of the eighth over of the
day before pulling up with a side strain and being taken to
hospital for scans. He was rated as "doubtful" to bowl again
in the test by Australia's physio Alex Kountouris.
Barring a couple of run-out chances and a few loose shots,
the remaining Australian bowlers failed to create many
opportunities before lunch on a good Hobart track.
Dilshan, resuming on 50, had to temper his aggressive
instincts but moved steadily towards his 15th test century,
spending a nervous half an hour in the nineties before
finally reaching the hundred with his 16th four.
The 36-year-old's delight at completing his first century in
Australia was made clear to everyone in the ground by the
huge yelp he emitted as he skipped down the wicket in
"I am very satisfied with this innings, especially with the
quality of the bowlers and especially with the extra bounce
in the wicket in Australia," Dilshan said.
His hundred came off 148 balls and the scoring rate slowed
even further after lunch as Australia's bowlers took the new
ball and made the batsmen work for every run.
Siddle finally made the breakthrough when he sent down a
delivery that caught Mathews on the back leg with the TV
umpire confirming upon appeal that the ball would have
clipped the top of the middle stump.
The 161-run partnership was the highest for Sri Lanka in
Australia, beating the 144 Aravinda da Silva and Ravi
Ratnayeke put on for the seventh wicket at Brisbane in 1998.
Dilshan's departure on the 273rd ball he faced precipitated
something of a collapse for the tourists with the last four
wickets tumbling for the addition of just 47 runs.
Siddle removed wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene for 40 with
another lbw decision that derived from an Australian appeal
to the TV umpire, and Rangana Herath followed for a duck
after facing just three balls.
The Sri Lankans were left ruing having used up their appeals
as the TV pictures showed Siddle's delivery clearly hit
Herath's bat before his pad despite umpire Tony Hill's lbw
There was no doubt about Nuwan Kulasekara's departure for 23
in the next over, however, and he was caught on the midwicket
boundary by substitute fielder Jordan Silk attempting a
second six in an over off Nathan Lyon.
Siddle was determined to get his five-wicket haul and he
achieved that goal in the following over when Chanaka
Welegedara edged the ball to Mike Hussey at gully to end the
Dilshan said he thought the rest of Sri Lanka's much vaunted
top order would do better in the second innings after their
failure in the first.
"Our batsmen know how to adjust quickly and can chase down
any target they set," he added. "First, tomorrow, we need to
take a couple of early wickets and put some pressure back on