Lee leads Australia to victory

Hobart, November 20:

Brett Lee finished off Sri Lanka’s prolonged resistance on Tuesday, leading Australia to a series sweep and a 14th consecutive Test win. Lee bowled Muttiah Muralitharan 12 minutes after lunch on the final day.

That ended Sri Lanka’s innings at 410 and secured Australia’s 96-run win in the second Test. Lee took eight wickets in the first Test win and another eight in Hobart to win the player of the series honours.

The Hobart result was closer than expected, with Kumar Sangakkara scoring 192 before he was controversially dismissed. The last two wickets added 120 runs. Sangakkara’s plucky innings ended when umpire Rudi Koertzen ruled that he edged a Stuart Clark delivery onto his helmet before it rebounded to Ricky Ponting at second slip just before lunch. TV replays showed the ball crashing into Sangakkara’s shoulder, not the bat. Sangakkara put on 74 for the ninth wicket with Lasith Malinga to keep the match alive long after Sri Lanka lost five wickets for 25 to slip to 290-8, chasing 507 runs to win. Malinga finished not out on 42 after dominating the 46-run last-wicket stand with Muralitharan (15). The tourists started the last day at 247-3 —with Sangakkara on 109 and Sanath Jayasuriya on 33 — still needing 260 runs to produce an historic win. But their chances were dented when Jayasuriya was out

for 45, edging an away swinger from Lee in the fifth over to wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.

Mitchell Johnson dismissed Chamara Silva and Prasanna Jayawardene for ducks on consecutive balls. Farveez Maharoof only made four while Dilhara Fernando was run out. Brett Lee had started Sri Lanka’s last demise late on Monday when he removed Marvan Atapattu (80) and Jayawardene (0) on consecutive balls.

Marvan Atapattu retires

HOBART: Marvan Atapattu decided it was time to retire rather than leave his international future to a Sri Lanka selection panel he described as “Muppets” led by a joker.

He scored a defiant 80 to kickstart Sri Lanka’s improbable chase for 507 runs needed to win the second Test and announced his retirement from cricket on Tuesday, just before Sri Lanka went down by 96 runs.

He made his Test debut in November 1990 and finished with 5,502 runs at 39.02 in 90 Tests, including six double-centuries. — AP