Michael Hussey scored an unbeaten century to prompt an Australian declaration in their first innings against Sri Lanka late on a rain-interrupted second day of the opening Test Saturday.
The veteran left-hander remained 115 not out with wicketkeeper Matthew Wade unbeaten on 68 as skipper Michael Clarke called a halt at 450 for five some 30 minutes before tea.
The Sri Lankans reached tea at 21 without loss with rookie Dimuth Karunaratne on 13 and Tillakaratne Dilshan not out eight.
Hussey, batting better than ever at the age of 37, audaciously raised his 19th Test century with a pull off Shaminda Eranga.
Angelo Mathews looked set to take the catch on the mid-wicket boundary ropes but fumbled the chance, allowing the ball to bounce over for four to bring up Hussey's 100.
It was his fourth ton this year and his third this southern summer season.
Hussey's knock came off 184 balls with eight fours and a six.
Wade, who had a life on 20 when he was dropped by fielding substitute Suraj Randiv at mid-wicket off Chanaka Welegedara nearing lunch, raised his second Test half-century and put on 146 for the sixth wicket with Hussey.
Clarke was out in the day's third over after a 50-minute rain delay when he edged Eranga to Kumar Sangakkara low down at first slip.
The Australian skipper's 74 off 145 balls took his tally to 1,432 runs this calendar year at 102.28 with a possibility of three more Test innings to come before year's end.
Clarke had been on track for his fifth century of 2012, three of them double-centuries, along with his Test highest score of 329 not out against India in Sydney last January.
Play was to be extended after a total of 130 minutes were lost to rain in two delays.
Brief Scores: Australia 450 for 5 dec. (Michael Hussey 115*, Philip Hughes 86, Michael Clarke 70*, Matthew Wade 68*, David Warner 57; Chanaka Welegedra 3 for 130) lead Sri Lanka 21 for 0 (Dimuth Karunaratne 13*, Tillakaratne Dilshan 8*) by 429 runs.
First Published: December 15, 2012, 11:42 am