Symonds, Gilchrist put Aussies over 500

Australia were batting Sri Lanka out of the second cricket Test with Symonds and Gilchrist carrying on the run spree on the second day in Hobart.

updated: November 18, 2007 18:29 IST
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Australia were batting Sri Lanka out of the second cricket Test with Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist carrying on the run spree on the second day at Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Saturday.

The Australians, following up their 551 for four declared in last week's Brisbane Test canter, went to tea at 515 for five on a rain-interrupted day.

Symonds and Gilchrist took to the Sri Lankan bowling after Phil Jaques (150) and Michael Hussey (132) pounded centuries.

At tea, Gilchrist, who missed out on batting in Brisbane, was unbeaten on 50 off 58 balls, with Symonds on 40 from 54 balls.

Gilchrist took his career tally to 98 sixes in Tests when he pulled fast bowler Lasith Malinga over the mid-wicket ropes to move into the thirties.

The Sri Lankans, beaten by an innings and 40 runs in last week's first Test, had to make do without paceman Farveez Maharoof, who failed to take the field today with a foot injury.

Maharoof's injury placed extra pressure on his new-ball partner, Malinga (1-156), and Dilhara Fernando (2-131).

Spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, needing five more wickets to equal Australian Shane Warne's world record of 708 wickets, faced the increasing prospect that he may only bowl in one innings in the final Test of the series in Australia in his bid to claim Warne's world record.

He had figures of 1-122 off 43 overs at tea.

Hussey nudged his Test average to 84.63 before he fell leg before wicket to Fernando for 132.

Hussey ranks second only to Don Bradman (99.94) with the highest Test average from a minimum of 20 innings.

It was the left hander's seventh century in 28 Test innings and once again underlined his immense value to the Australian top order.

Hussey battled for 282 minutes and hit 18 boundaries and a six over deep mid-wicket off Muralitharan.

He put on 125 runs for the fourth wicket with Michael Clarke.

Symonds clouted successive fours in his first over facing Fernando.

The aggressive Queenslander went after Muralitharan, smashing him for a straight six to rattle into double figures.

Clarke fell to an acrobatic catch by wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene down the leg-side off Malinga for 71.

Clarke, who compiled an unconquered 145 in the Brisbane Test, was dropped by Chamara Silva close in off Muralitharan only minutes earlier.

He batted for close to three hours and hit eight boundaries.