Jayawardene, Mathews defy Aussies

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Galle, Sri Lanka - Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews combined for a brilliant unbroken sixth-wicket partnership of 119 to stall Australia's victory charge on a rain-affected fourth morning of the first Test on Saturday.
At lunch, Sri Lanka were 187 for five wickets in their second innings with Jayawardene and Mathews helping the home side recover from 68-5 and frustrate the tourists, who would have been hoping to wrap up a win in a little over three days.
Resuming on 120-5, the pair added 67 runs to the overnight score to leave Sri Lanka 192 runs short of victory but with a new ball available in two more overs, Australia are still heavy favourites to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Play started 15 minutes early due to previous rain delays but only 21 deliveries were bowled before a quick downpour took the players off the field for another 65 minutes.
Jayawardene added 33 runs to his overnight score to reach the lunch break on 90 from 215 balls, in an impressive rearguard knock that did include a spectacular six off debutant spinner Nathan Lyon over long-on.
At the other end, Mathews recorded his third Test half-century and was on 66 at the interval from 137 balls.
The Australian bowlers toiled with little success in the session and Lyon, who picked up five wickets for 34 runs in the first innings, was unable to add to his tally while giving up 69 runs in 18 overs.
On Friday, Australia were dismissed for 210 in their second innings with Sri Lanka left arm spinner Rangana Herath collecting a career-best five-wicket haul as the visitors set the hosts a winning target of 379.
The tourists beat Sri Lanka 3-2 in the one-dayers ahead of the Test series.


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