Rain kills chance of Australian win in 2nd Test
Australia settled for a draw after the rain-hit second Test against Sri Lanka came to a damp end on Monday.
When play was abandoned following the second major rain delay of the final day’s play, Sri Lanka were 6-317 in their second innings, only 80 runs ahead, in a Test that Australia dominated but got nothing from.
The result means Australia head into Friday’s final Test in Colombo with a 1-0 lead in the three-game series.
Having bowled the hosts out for 174 on the opening day’s play, centuries to Michael Hussey (142) and debutant Shaun Marsh (141) enabled Australia to take a 237-run first innings lead but from there weather and resistance by the home team dashed hopes of a series-clinching win.
Australia also face a nervous wait on the fitness of fast bowler Ryan Harris (3-54) after the injury-plagued right-armer spent time off the field in the afternoon session due to a stiff right hamstring.
The 31-year-old will undergo scans on Tuesday and captain Michael Clarke admitted it was a concern with the next Test just four days away.
“We’re confident, if the scan shows nothing, that he’ll certainly be available for the third Test,” Clarke said.
“If it does show something there’s going to be a little bit of doubt.
“He feels okay at the moment, it was more precaution. I said to him once he finished that spell that it was unlikely he was going to bowl again today so he should go off and see Alex (Kountouris, physio) and do what he needs to do to ensure we’re not doing anything silly.
“Fingers crossed, hopefully it’s clear.”
The tourists began the day needing quick wickets to force a result and delivered, striking twice in the first hour to remove veteran pair Kumar Sangakkara (69) and Mahela Jayawardene (51).
Harris delivered the first breakthrough by removing Sangakkara in the fourth over of the day, luring the experienced batsman into an edge to Michael Clarke at second slip.
Just three balls later Harris could have had two in the over but Clarke spilt the chance from Thilan Samaraweera (43).
Clarke made amends shortly afterwards when he took a stunning one-handed catch low to his left to remove Mahela Jayawardene off the bowling of Trent Copeland (1-63).
Jayawardene stayed at the crease to clarify the chance had carried but when replays showed it was clean he had to go and Clarke dismissed any suggestion the Sri Lankan had questioned his integrity.
“I don’t think Mahela did anything wrong,” he said.
“We’ve got the cameras, the third umpire has been used for catches for a while now. The batters are in their right to stand their ground and wait for the umpires’ decision.”
After the day’s first rain delay, Harris struck again, luring Prasanna Jayawardene (21) to feather an edge to Brad Haddin and keep Australia’s slim hopes of victory alive.
Shane Watson (1-43) claimed the big wicket of Samaraweera with the hosts just 70 ahead to expose Sri Lanka’s tail but rain once again halted play and ensured the hosts would live to fight another day.© AAP 2013