Australia made hard work of grabbing a narrow lead over tenacious Sri Lanka on a second day tarnished by reckless run outs and rash shot-making in the third Test in Sydney. The home side, with the series already clinched after wins in Hobart and Melbourne, edged today to a 48-run lead over the tourists.
But it proved tough going and the Australians failed to get away to a bigger lead after a run-a-minute start. At the close, Australia were 342 for six with Matthew Wade on 47 and Peter Siddle not out 16. Wade lived dangerously late in the day, surviving two reviews and a dropped catch while on 22.
Australia self-destructed with two run outs while David Warner, Phil Hughes and Michael Clarke threw away their wickets with false strokes. The top order carelessness was accentuated by Australia's decision to go into the third Test with four pace bowlers and promote wicketkeeper Wade to number six ahead of an elongated tail. “Today we could look back and feel we could have been in a better position, it would have been nice to have a couple of wickets less,” Hughes said.
“We're 40-odd runs ahead now. It would be nice to get 100 or so more ahead.” Warner and Hughes both missed out on centuries and Clarke, aghast at his part in the run out of the retiring Mike Hussey, was out attempting to slog sweep left-arm spinner Rangana Herath for 50. Lanka players gave Hussey a guard of honour to the crease amid acclaim from the SCG crowd in his final Test.
The 37-year-old veteran lasted 51 balls before he was needlessly run out in possibly his final Test innings for 25.
Brief scores Sri Lanka 294 vs Australia 342/6 (D Warner 85, P Hughes 87, M Clarke 50, M Hussey 25, R Herath 2/69)
South Africa win
Cape Town: Dean Brownlie hit a maiden Test century for New Zealand but could not prevent a South African victory on the third day of the first Test at Newlands on Friday.
South Africa won by an innings and 27 runs as New Zealand were bowled out for 275 in second innings. But the tourists made the South Africans toil almost until tea as they recovered some pride after a disastrous first innings.
Brief scores New Zealand 45 and 275 ( D Brownlie 109, B Watling 42, D Steyn 3/67) vs South Africa 347