Cricket Live Score: Australia vs Sri Lanka 1st Test Day 2, Hobart
Phil Hughes made a solid 86 on his return to test cricket before Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey took up the running and steered Australia to 299 for four at close of play on the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka on Friday.
Hughes was the only batsmen to fall in the final session, lasting only a couple of overs after lunch before being bowled through the gate by Chanaka Welegedera, giving the Sri Lankan seamer his third wicket of the day.
Clarke, who had made 70 not out, and Hussey, unbeaten on 37, batted through the remainder of the day and if the evidence of their prolific partnerships in the recent series against South Africa is anything to go by, will take some shifting.
“Overall, 299 for four puts the ball in our court,” said Hughes. “I thought we were outstanding today. It really gives us momentum going into tomorrow.”
Sri Lanka’s bowlers, dubbed this week as the worst pace attack ever to tour Australia by former Test bowler Rodney Hogg, made life uncomfortable for the batsmen at times but struggled for any real penetration under cloudy skies at Bellerive Oval.
“I think we showed we can put Australia under pressure and hopefully the bowlers will be fresh in the morning and we can get them out for less than 100 additional runs,” said Welegedera, who finished with 3-99 on his return after nine months out injured.
Clarke, who passed 1,400 runs for the year, has now put on 731 runs in partnerships with Hussey in the last four Tests and will be looking to plunder a few more on Saturday despite taking a couple of painful knocks to his legs.
The lefthander was recalled to the side on the back of good domestic form following the retirement of Ricky Ponting at the end of the series against the Proteas.
The 24-year-old reached his fourth test half century with a square drive for three runs and then initially accelerated towards a century, most notably with an ugly but effective slog for six off spinner Rangana Herath.