Mahela pushes hard to avert follow-on

Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene stood between Australia and its push to enforce another follow-on with a defiant, unbeaten 69 on day three.

updated: November 18, 2007 10:30 IST
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Hobart, Australia:

Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene stood between Australia and its push to enforce another follow-on with a defiant, unbeaten 69 on day three of the second cricket test.

Brett Lee took three wickets - two in a seven-over opening spell and one late in the middle session - as Sri Lanka stumbled to 208 for eight at tea on Sunday and faced the prospect of being sent in again.

The tourists were still 334 runs behind Australia and needing 135 runs to avoid the follow-on for the second time in the series.

Lee removed both openers in a seven-over spell to open the morning and had two chances against Kumar Sangakkara (57) before Mitchell Johnson picked up that wicket just before lunch.

Stuart MacGill bowled Sanath Jayasuriya (3) and had Chamara Silva caught behind after the interval and Stuart Clark dismissed Prasanna Jayawardene (0) as Sri Lankans slumped to 163 for six.

Farveez Maharoof was unable to bowl for Sri Lanka because of a fractured left ankle, but scored 19 with the bat and helped the total to 196 until his runner was run out by substitute fielder Rhett Lockyear.

Number 9 Dilhara Fernando chased a widish ball from Lee and edged behind to Adam Gilchrist in the penultimate over before tea.

Lee did the early damage, knocking Michael Vandort's middle stump out of the ground for 14 with the total at 41 and having Marvan Atapattu (25) caught wide in the slips by Michael Clarke.

He also created chances against Sangakkara, who missed the first test with a hamstring strain but made a valuable 57 in Hobart.

Sangakkara got the benefit of the doubt on a borderline appeal for a catch by Hussey at gully when he was on 4 and was dropped cold by wicketkeeper Gilchrist nine runs later.

But he was starting to find his touch when he cut Johnson to the boundary to reach 50. And Sri Lanka's prospects were improving with Sangakkara and Jayawardene at the crease.

The pair combined for a world-record partnership of 624 for the third wicket against South Africa at Colombo in July last year.

Their stand here was broken at 73 when Sangakkara cut another Johnson deliver directly to Hussey at gully.

Jayawardene had a reprieve on 14 when Lee missed with a throw for a run-out at the non-striker's end.

It was only a minor blemish for Lee, the man-of-the-match with eight wickets in Australia's innings and 40-run win in the first test.

In an almost identical script of the Brisbane test last week, Australia won the toss and batted for five sessions before declaring.

Phil Jacques (150) and Mike Hussey (132) posted back-to-back hundreds and Gilchrist became the first man to hit 100 sixes in test cricket with three in his unbeaten 67.

Andrew Symonds was getting treatment for a right ankle strain he picked up during his unbeaten 50 and has not fielded.