Pacemen Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc bowled Australia to victory over Sri Lanka in the first Hobart Test on Tuesday, claiming six wickets in the final session for a thrilling win.
The Sri Lankans looked to be batting out for a draw until Siddle and Starc struck to secure Australia's first win of the home season, after losing to South Africa 1-0 in the recent three-Test series.
Starc claimed the last four wickets to fall to end with five for 63, while Siddle was named man of the match after his four for 50 to finish with nine wickets for the match.
Australia found it hard going to gouge out the batsmen on a fifth-day pitch until the wickets tumbled in the final two hours.
They got the wicket of Mahela Jayawardene before lunch, Kumar Sangakkara in the middle session and the remaining six wickets in the final session after the tourists appeared headed for a morale-boosting draw.
Siddle struck in the fourth over after tea when Angelo Mathews needlessly flicked outside his off stump and nicked to Matthew Wade for 19, giving the Australians a glimmer of victory.Mathews, who is in line to replace Mahela Jayawardene as captain after the current tour, batted for 61 balls and put on 50 runs for the fifth wicket with Samaraweera.
Siddle gave the Australians more hope when he trapped Samaraweera leg before wicket for 49 off 140 balls.
A few overs later Prasanna Jayawardene, who has scored four Test centuries, could not avoid a spitting delivery from Starc and gloved to Mike Hussey at second slip for 21.
Starc bowled a beautiful delivery to entice an edge off Nuwan Kulasekara and he was caught behind for nine heading into the final 15 overs.
Australia 450/5 decl and 278/9 beat Sri Lanka 336 and 255 all out (Kumar Sangakkara 63, Thilan Samaraweera 49, M Starc 5-63, P Siddle 4-50)
No evidence of ball tampering: ICC
ICC match referee Chris Broad said Tuesday he found no evidence of Australian ball-tampering during the first Hobart Test and would not be taking the matter any further.
Sri Lanka's team management had expressed concern at television match footage which it believed showed paceman Peter Siddle tampering with the ball during the Sri Lankan first innings.
The tourists' team manager Charith Senanayake said he had spoken to ICC officials. But Broad said that after viewing video footage he found no evidence the match ball had been tampered with.
“The umpires frequently inspect the ball during play, and did so again after they had reviewed the video footage in question on Sunday,” Broad said in a statement. “They found no evidence to suggest that the condition of the ball had been changed.”
Man-of-the-match Siddle said the claims were “ridiculous”.