Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan (centre) watches as Australia's Shane Watson (right) and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade (left) celebrate his dismissal for 11 runs during the fourth day's play in their first cricket test match at Bellerive Oval in Hobart. Photo by Reuters
Australia removed both Sri Lanka openers cheaply to leave the
tourists clinging on at 65 for two and chasing an unlikely
393 for victory at the close of play on the fourth day of the
Sri Lanka's hopes are in the experienced hands of Kumar
Sangakkara (18 not out) and skipper Mahela Jayawardene (five
not out) after Tillakaratne Dilshan and Dimuth Karunaratne
both fell victim to superb deliveries.
Australia skipper Michael Clarke had earlier played a
glittering cameo by smashing 57 runs off 46 balls to help
drive the hosts to 278 in their second innings before he
retired hurt with a hamstring injury.
Sri Lanka were dismissed for 336 on Sunday in reply to
Australia's first innings 450 for five declared and will need
to set a new record for a fourth innings run chase at Hobart
to beat the 369 Australia scored against Pakistan in 1999.
Spinner Rangana Herath took five for 95 and seamer Chanaka
Welegedara 3-89 as the Sri Lankan bowlers finally got some
reward for their efforts after the Australian openers
frustrated them for much of the morning.
Their Australian counterparts made a more immediate impact as
they looked to remove the last 10 wickets and take a 1-0 lead
in the three-match series.
Shane Watson, taking on a bigger bowling burden after
Sunday's injury to quick Ben Hilfenhaus, struck with his
first ball to remove Dilshan, who made 147 in the first
innings, caught behind for 11.
Karunaratne had put 30 runs on the board when he was undone
by a sizzling Mitchell Starc yorker which hammered into the
base of the off-stump.
Skipper Mahela Jayawardene took 25 balls to get off the mark
and Sangakkara had a big scare on three when Clarke, who had
come out to field despite his injury, dropped the ICC
cricketer of the year in the slips.
In the morning sunshine, openers David Warner (68) and Ed
Cowan (56) combined for a partnership of 132 but both were
removed in the half hour before lunch in an appetizer for
what was to come in the second session.
Herath had been belted for a six and a switch-hit four by
Warner but got his revenge when his carrom delivery took a
bottom edge and carried to the wicketkeeper.
Cowan joined his partner in the pavilion 15 minutes later
when Welegedara swung in a fizzing delivery which hit the
Australian's pad before taking off the bails.
Watson suffered torrid examination from Herath before he was
stumped by wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene for five soon
after lunch to bring Wade in at number five as they looked to
up the run rate heading towards a declaration.
Three overs later, however, Phil Hughes played the ball onto
his own wicket to depart for 16 and Wade did not last much
longer, holing out to Kulasekara for 11.
After Clarke's departure, Peter Siddle (four), Starc (five)
and Lyon (11) made brief appearances before Herath trapped
Hilfenhaus lbw for a duck to end the innings and bring up
The final wicket gave Herath 60 for 2012 to put him ahead of
England's Graeme Swann in their personal battle to decide the
most prolific wicket-taker of the year.