Tillakaratne Dilshan ton leads Sri Lanka counter-attack against Australia

Dilshan

Tillakaratne Dilshan led a fighting counter-attack with a pugnacious century as Sri Lanka trailed Australia by 141 runs with two days to play in the first Hobart Test here today.

Dilshan batted for almost seven hours for his 147 and shared in a record Sri Lanka stand in Australia with Angelo Mathews to get the tourists within 114 runs of the home side's first innings of 450 for five declared.

The Australians tightened their grip on the match reaching third day stumps at 27 without loss and were in the box seat to press on for their first victory of the domestic summer after losing the recent three-Test series to South Africa.

At the close, Ed Cowan was on 16 with David Warner not out on eight.

Sri Lanka, boosted by Dilshan's 15th Test century and good play from Mathews (75) and Prasanna Jayawardene (40), were bowled out for 336.

Peter Siddle, leading the Australian attack in the absence of injured Ben Hilfenhaus, knocked over the Sri Lankan tail to finish with five for 54 off 25.3 overs.

Dilshan's innings-saving effort came to an end when he was yorked by Mitchell Starc in the 98th over some 30 minutes after tea.

The 36-year-old right-hander hit 21 boundaries off 273 balls and was primarily responsible for getting Sri Lanka past the 251 follow on after the tourists were in strife at 87 for four at stumps on Saturday.

It was Dilshan's second century against Australia following his 104 at Galle in 2004.

He shared in a record 161-run stand with Mathews for the fifth wicket that took the momentum away from the Australians for a large part of the third day.

It eclipsed Aravinda de Silva and Ravi Ratnayeke's previous best stand for Sri Lanka down under of 144 for the seventh wicket at Brisbane in 1989.

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