Hobart - Pacemen Peter Siddle and Mitchell
Starc bowled Australia to victory over Sri Lanka in the first Hobart
Test on Tuesday, claiming six wickets in the final session for a
The Sri Lankans had looked to be holding on for a
draw until Siddle and Starc struck to secure Australia's first win of
the home season, after losing to South Africa 1-0 in the recent
Starc claimed the last four wickets to end with
five for 63, while Siddle was named man of the match after his four for
50 gave him nine wickets for the match.
Australia found it hard going to gouge out the batsmen on a fifth-day pitch until the wickets tumbled in the final two hours.
knew we had to be patient," said captain Michael Clarke. "No doubt I
was confident that if we could bowl the balls in the right area for a
long period of time that we would have success.
"It was going to be a day's work to get so many good batsmen out, but take nothing away from the bowlers.
had to execute their plans and their skills. Reverse swing was always
going to be vital in this game and we've got three of the best reverse
swing bowlers in the world in Sids (Siddle), Shane (Watson) and Starcy
Australia got the wicket of captain Mahela Jayawardene
before lunch, Kumar Sangakkara in the middle session and the remaining
six wickets in the final session after the tourists had appeared headed
for a morale-boosting draw.
"Disappointed that we lost the game.
It was a tough Test match in the sense that we were chasing the game
probably after the third or fourth day but we kept fighting, especially
in the first innings," Jayawardene said.
"Today we knew we had to
bat through a couple of sessions sensibly, see what happens, and up
until tea we were on target. And then two wickets after tea and that's
when things probably went in the other direction."
in the fourth over after tea when Angelo Mathews needlessly flicked
outside his off stump and nicked to Matthew Wade for 19, giving the
Australians a glimmer of victory.
Siddle gave the Australians more hope when he trapped Samaraweera leg before wicket for 49 off 140 balls.
few overs later Prasanna Jayawardene, who has scored four Test
centuries, could not avoid a spitting delivery from Starc and gloved to
Mike Hussey at second slip for 21.
Starc bowled a beautiful
delivery to entice an edge off Nuwan Kulasekara who was caught behind
for nine heading into the final 15 overs.
The irresistible left-armer bowled Rangana Herath for eight, leaving the Australians just one wicket from victory.
Starc finished up the innings when he had Shaminda Eranga caught behind for six to end Sri Lanka's dogged resistance.
Australians had earlier removed key batsmen Mahela Jayawardene (19) and
Sangakkara (63) but for a time were hitting a brick wall in their
attempts to make further inroads.
At one stage Clarke even brought
wicketkeeper Matthew Wade into the attack, with his lively medium pace
utilised for a maiden final over before the tea adjournment.
big-hearted Siddle made the crucial breakthrough in the middle session,
trapping Sangakkara leg before wicket for 63 off 226 balls in the 76th
Australia removed Mahela Jayawardene midway through the
morning session after Clarke, playing with an injured hamstring, bent
low to take a sharp catch off Siddle in the 56th over.
had resisted for 77 balls for his 19 and stubbornly put on 65 runs for
the third wicket with Sangakkara off 193 balls.
Sri Lanka have yet to win in Australia in 11 Tests.
The series now goes to Melbourne for the second Test starting on Boxing Day ahead of the final Sydney Test on January 3.