Australia inches away from series whitewash

Ed Cowan scored 34 in Australia’s chase of 140 on the fourth Day of the Sydney Test © Getty Images

Sydney: Jan 6, 2013

Chasing just 140 runs on the fourth day of the final Test against Sri Lanka, Australia are just five runs away from victory as the teams go in for Tea in the third Test at Sydney.

Sri Lanka made a great start in defending a slender 140-run lead with the big wicket of David Warner but failed to put pressure on the Australian batsmen as they began to build partnerships. The second wicket to fall was that of Phil Hughes. There was a huge appeal when a delivery off Rangana Herath, lobbed up to the short leg fielder. Umpire was unmoved and the Sri Lankans called for a review. Replays showed no sign of contact between bat and ball but it the decision was reversed as the ball was in line when it hit Hughes on the pad, resulting in an lbw decision.

Michael Clarke’s dismissal to Tilakaratne Dilshan with Australia at 104 for three was met with resounding cheers as Michael Hussey walked out for one last time to join opener Ed Cowan in the middle.

Just one over later, Cowan was sent back to the pavilion after he was trapped leg before by Herath. Cowan went for a review but in vain as the ball landed on his off-stump and almost held its line and looked like a straight forward decision for the TV umpire.

First innings centurion Matthew Wade fell cheaply as Australia were on 136 for five at Tea.

This Test brings an end to a glorious career of Australia’s Michael Hussey who announced his retirement saying the Sri Lanka series would be his last.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 294 and 278 (Dimuth Karunaratne 85, Dinesh Chandimal 62*, Mahela Jayawardene 60; Mitchell Johnson 3 for 34, Jackson Bird 3 for 76) lead Australia 136 for 5 (Phil Hughes 34, Ed Cowan 36 ; Rangana Herath 3 for 44) by 4 runs.

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