Siddle, Starc strike to spark dramatic Australia win against Sri Lanka

Sangakkara

Seamers Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc shared six late wickets to give Australia a dramatic 137-run victory over Sri Lanka in the last hour of the fifth and final day of the first test on Tuesday.

Siddle, who finished the match with figures of 9-104, and left-armer Starc, who took 5-63 in the second innings, caught fire in the final session to bowl the tourists out for 255 and give Australia a 1-0 lead in the three-test series.

Having been stymied in similar circumstances by a brilliant rearguard action from South Africa in Adelaide last month, Australia were desperate not to repeat the experience in Hobart.

It looked like it might be a case of deja vu at tea, however, when some resilient batting from the Sri Lankans and a couple of rain breaks frustrated the hosts for two sessions.

Siddle had already taken the key wickets of captain Mahela Jayawardene (19) and ICC Cricketer of the Year Kumar Sangakkara (63) around lunch but the tourists reached tea on 186 with six wickets still in hand.

In a sign of Australia's growing desperation, wicketkeeper Matthew Wade shed his pads and gloves to bowl the final over before the break and claimed a maiden in his first spell in senior cricket.

Sri Lanka, set a victory target of 393, could still conceivably have won the match but a paltry return of 42 runs in the second session clearly indicated they were batting for a draw rather than a first win in Australia.

BREAKTHROUGH

The Australian bowling unit, a man down after local quick Ben Hilfenhaus suffered a side strain, never gave up, even if Siddle looked like the only man who might break through for much of the day.

The 28-year-old struck again on the first ball of his second over after tea to dismiss obdurate all-rounder Angelo Mathews, caught behind by Wade for 19.

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