Colombo: In his first series as Test captain, Michael Clarke has delivered Australia a 1-0 victory over Sri Lanka, moved them up to fourth in the ICC Test rankings, retained the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy and broken his own personal drought with his first Test century in 18 months. Not a bad way to start a new job. On the final day of the series, Clarke played a true captain's innings to deny Sri Lanka any hope of winning the match, which ended in a draw that was as good as a victory for Australia.
Sri Lanka began the morning needing quick wickets to knock Australia over and set up a chase. By tea, Tillakaratne Dilshan's men had added only two breakthroughs to the three wickets they had taken on the fourth afternoon, and they were left not only to rue their slow batting in a match they had to win, but also to wonder how long their attack will take to deliver them a Test win in the post-Muttiah Muralitharan era.
Rangana Herath toiled manfully to earn a career-best 7 for 157, but the harsh truth is that Sri Lanka haven't won a Test since Murali last played for them in July 2010. And by losing a home series for just the third time in ten years, they have fallen to fifth on the ICC rankings list. Besides Herath, none of the bowlers looked threatening on the final day, not that their task was an easy one on a pitch offering nothing.