A truly remarkable captain’s knock earlier by Michael Clarke ensured a draw in this match. Aussies emerged as the series victors. The match had begun with the Aussies batting first. Michael Hussey was the hero of the first innings. He played a smooth innings and ensured that Australia managed a decent score on the board. Shaun marsh complimented Hussey with a swift, efficient 81. Debutant Shaminda Eranga impressed with a four wickets in the first innings. He bowled with pace, line and accuracy and kept the batsman guessing.
The Lankan innings was far better than their previous ones. Most batsmen contributed to the score. Sangakkara scored a valiant 79, and was supported at the other end by Jayawardene who scored an elegant half century. But the man who stole the lime light was Angelo Matthews.
He scored a brilliant century. His maiden test ton could not have come at a better time. Marked by confident, careful and trademark stroke play, he scored boundaries off loose balls and kept rotating the strike carefully. This knock is something he will cherish throughout his career. He has clearly shown the board how big an asset he is.
The Australian response was far better than their earlier performance. Peter Hughes scored his third test century. Watching him bat was a pleasure. 16 boundaries and a six were the shots played by him, each one a treat. The other centurion was the skipper- Clarke. He scored his maiden century as skipper.
Rangana Herath’s seven wicket haul in the second innings was overshadowed by Clarke’s brilliance. He has proved to the Australian board that he is Ponting’s true successor. He holds the Australian legacy.
With Australia’s first test series win with Clarke as it captain, a question ought to be pondered about. Does this mark a new era in Australian Cricket?