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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014

Cricket

Aussies keep pace, annihilate another Asian powerhouse
AFP
Melbourne, December 29, 2012
First Published: 00:13 IST(29/12/2012)
Last Updated: 02:08 IST(29/12/2012)

Australia humiliated an ailing Sri Lanka by an innings and 201 runs to wrap up the series midway through the third day of the second Test in Melbourne on Friday.

Trailing by 304 runs on the first innings, a battered Sri Lanka surrendered for 103 for seven off 24.2 overs with Kumar Sangakkara retiring hurt and out for the rest of the tour.

Prasanna Jayawardene and Chanaka Welegedara were also unable to bat because of injuries.

Australia's rampaging paceman Mitchell Johnson dominated the Test with six wickets and an unbeaten 92. He was a standout man-of-the-match.

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Going hard
"The boys went pretty hard at their batters with the short ball and they didn't like it," Johnson said. "The plan through this Test match was to get up their batters and unfortunately for them they got a few injuries out of it - I think that intimidation factor definitely worked out there today."

It ranks as one of Sri Lanka's biggest Test drubbings (see list).

Sri Lanka somehow have to regroup for the third and final dead rubber Test starting in Sydney next Thursday.

Their remote hopes of saving the series in Melbourne went out the door when key batsman Sangakkara retired on 27 after he was struck on the glove by a menacing lifter from Johnson.

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Skipper Mahela Jayawardene said Sangakkara would have surgery for a fractured left index finger and would miss the rest of the Test and one-day games in Australia.

He was the second Sri Lankan player to suffer a hand injury in the Boxing Day Test with wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene receiving a hairline thumb fracture when also struck by a Johnson delivery in the first innings.

With paceman Welegedara already ruled out of further involvement in the Melbourne Test with a hamstring injury, the Sri Lankan second innings ended at seven wickets down to complete a wretched Test for the tourists.

"The injuries are something we can't control, but we need to show more character, we need to see something more from the players, we need to come up better and all of us have to take some responsibility."

Despite losing a Test series to South Africa earlier this summer, Australia showed they are better than a lot others, especially the Asian giants. Sri Lanka's Asian counterparts India were hammered 0-4 last summer.


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