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20-Sep-2011 12:54:00 GMT
Sri Lanka v Australia, 3rd Test, Colombo, 5th day

Clarke Leads as Australia Clinch Series

Colombo: Australia have retained the Warne-Muralitharan trophy after the third Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo meandered to a draw on Tuesday.

The tourists, who resumed the day at 209 for three, were bowled out for 488 thanks to centuries from Phillip Hughes (126) and captain Michael Clarke (112), while Michael Hussey (93) just missed out on his third successive hundred.

That meant Sri Lanka had a never-likely victory target of 332, with their run-chase abandoned after just two overs with the hosts 0-7.

The third session was notable for Hussey's failure to get to his century, with the left-hander falling just short when Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan (1-62) had him caught by Chanaka Welegedara.

Hussey's dismissal brought about a flurry of wickets as Mitchell Johnson (4), Brad Haddin (30), Peter Siddle (26) and Trent Copeland (3) all fell within 15 overs.

Siddle hit four boundaries in his brief stay at the crease while Haddin matched that feat in his 62-ball stint.

Rangana Herath (7-157) claimed the wickets of Haddin and Siddle in the final season to reward him for his marathon 52-over effort, while Welegedara (1-88), debutant Shaminda Eranga (1-62) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (1-62) were the other wicket takers.

In response, Tharanga Paranavitana (2) and Lahiru Thirimanne (4) negotiated the two overs before stumps was called early with no chance of a result possible.

Earlier, Clarke stroked his 15th Test century and first as captain as he moved from 71 to 112 in the middle session.

The New South Welshman punched the air with delight after passing the milestone, which came largely thanks to 14 fours and three sixes.

Herath was the man to eventually remove him when he was caught at mid-on by Paranavitana, ending a 176-run union between him and Hussey.

That partnership carried Australia through most of the first session too, with Hughes adding just four runs to his overnight score before he was caught by Thirimanne off the bowling of Herath.

The pair batted with ease throughout the day, rarely troubled and they were happy to keep a consistent but not earth-shattering run-rate going as the Aussies clinched the series with the draw.

Brief scores
Australia
316 (Hussey 118, Marsh 81, Eranga 4-65, Welegedara 3-75) and 488 (Hughes 126, Clarke 112, Hussey 93, Herath 7-157)
Sri Lanka 473 (Mathews 105*, Dilshan 83, Sangakkara 79, M Jayawardene 51, Siddle 4-91) and 7 for 0
Result Match drawn
MOM Michael Hussey (Australia)
Player of the series Michael Hussey (Australia)


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