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Australia forced a whitewash – Third Test vs. Sri Lanka

Zia Rana January 6, 2013

Australia 432 and 5-141 (Ed Cowan 36, Phillip Hughes 34, Rangana Herath 3-46) beat Sri Lanka 294 and 278 (Dimuth Karunaratne 85, Dinesh Chandimal 62*,Mahela Jayawardene 60, Mitchell Johnson 3-34, Jackson Bird 3-76) by five wickets.

Australia beat Sri Lanka in the third and final Test, made a clean sweep of 3-0 as the match ended on the fourth day with a minor resistance from the visitors.

Sri Lanka posted 294 runs in their first innings and was bowled out for 278 in the second. Australia piled up 432 in the first innings and chased the target of 141 runs for the loss of five wickets.

The Australian Squad - After clinching the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy

The Australian Squad – After clinching the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy

Jackson Bird (Australia) was declared ‘Player of the match’ after he grabbed seven wickets in the match.

Michael Clarke (Australia) was declared ‘Player of the series’ for his excellent batting in three Tests. He was the highest run scorer of the series by thrashing 316 runs at a superb average of 79.00 with one hundred and 3 fifties.

The third Test concluded on Sunday, January 6, 2013, which was the fourth day of the match at Sydney Cricket Ground.

Earlier, the Lankan Lions went into bat at 7-225 scored from 62 overs, Dinesh Chandimal and Rangana Herath were unbeaten for 22 and 9 runs respectively. They added 10 runs to the score when Herath was clean bowled by Jackson Bird on the third ball of the 68th over. Mitchell Johnson uprooted the stumps of Suranga Lakmal for a duck as the last batsman Nuwan Pradeep joined in with Chandimal. The latter took over and hit 14 runs in the 70th over with 3 fours and completed his third Test fifty with a four. The pair kept on creeping until Nuwan Pradeep was caught behind by Matthew Wade off Bird for 9 runs. Dinesh Chandimal secured his end at 62 from 106 balls with 11 fours as the innings of the tourists was folded back on 278 on the second ball of the 82nd over.

Jackson Bird and Mitchell Johnson were the chief wicket takers with three wickets each whereas Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon shared one wicket each.

The Kangaroos required 141 runs to win the game with plenty of time left but they lost an early wicket of David Warner on the first delivery of the second over for nought. Phillip Hughes got together with Ed Cowan and reached 13 in five overs when lunch was taken. The batsmen preferred to stay at the wicket and added just eight runs until the last ball of the 10th over was bowled. The score was taken to 45 when Phillip Hughes was declared leg before wicket off Rangana Herath for 34 as the Australian skipper, Michael Clarke, replaced him.

The run rate was picked up instantly as both batsmen hit a four in the next couple of overs. Clarke survived a review for lbw in the 25th over and responded with 2 fours in the following over as Cowan kept on consolidating from the other end. The hundred of the innings appeared on board in the 30th over and Clarke became the next victim for 29 as the total touched 104. Michael Hussey received a standing ovation from the crowd and his team mates when he walked in the centre for his final Test innings.

Ed Cowan lost his wicket in the next over for 36 as Matthew Wade joined together with Hussey. Herath destroyed the stumps of Wade for just eight runs when the hosts required nine runs to win the match. Mitchell Johnson associated with Hussey and the duo achieved the target by scoring 141 runs in 42.5 overs with five wickets still in hand. Michael Hussey remained unbeaten for 27 off 42 with 2 fours and Mitchell Johnson scored one runs.

Rangana Herath was the top wicket taker with three whereas Tillakaratne Dilshan and Suranga Lakmal claimed one wicket each.

Australia won the match comprehensively by a margin of five wickets and wrapped up the series 3-0.

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