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Mr Cricket signs off with a victory

cricket Updated: Jan 07, 2013 01:35 IST

AFP
Highlight Story

Mike Hussey bowed out of Test cricket with a win when he guided Australia to a five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka today, giving the home side a clean sweep of the three-match series.

Left-hander Hussey, playing in his 79th and final Test after announcing his international retirement, got his team over the line after the loss of five wickets on a tense fourth day at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The 37-year-old provided the steadying hand as Australia made hard work of running down 141 runs for victory on a turning pitch.

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At the close Hussey was unbeaten on 27, while Mitchell Johnson hit the winning run to end on one not out.

Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath had earlier threatened to bowl the Sri Lankans to their first-ever Test victory in Australia at the 13th attempt. He finished with three wickets for 47.

Young Australian fast bowler Jackson Bird was named man of the match with seven wickets and skipper Michael Clarke was picked as man of the series.

The umpires stunned the crowd when they took tea with just five runs left to decide the Test, leaving onlookers with a sense of anti-climax.

'Pressure is off now'
Hussey says he is relieved his Test career is over after a fairytale finish. "What a place to finish. The SCG is probably my top three favourite grounds in the whole world," Hussey said.

"The crowd support and the support in general has been a bit overwhelming and I've been a bit embarrassed by it.

"In a way I'm quite relieved that it's over now. The stress and pressure, I can relax away from it now. I don't have that sick feeling in my stomach before I go out to bat.

"I feel like the pressure is off and I feel very proud to be able to finish in Australia and here at the SCG."

The popular West Australian, who only made his Test debut at the late age of 30 back in 2005, finished as the highest scorer above Ricky Ponting in Australia-Sri Lanka Tests with 994 runs at 110.44 in eight Tests.

Hussey was adoringly feted by the Sydney crowds throughout the final Test and unselfishly offered a reluctant Johnson the chance to hit the winning run.

Winning moment
"I was telling Mitch (Johnson) the over before, if it comes up that you hit it then I'm more than happy to let us get this over and done with," he said.

"I was more than happy to be out there when the winning run was hit. A dream come true. The important thing was making sure we won the Test." Hussey said the realisation of having played his last Test had sunk in and he was looking forward to living a 'normal life' with family.