Siddle brings team to triumphant victory

Peter Siddle and Michael Hussey of Australia celebrate the wicket of Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka during day five of the First Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Blundstone Arena on December 18 in Hobart.
Peter Siddle and Michael Hussey of Australia celebrate the wicket of Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka during day five of the First Test match between Australia and Sri Lanka at Blundstone Arena on December 18 in Hobart. Robert Cianflone - Getty Images

THANK goodness for Peter Siddle.

For much of yesterday's final day of play in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Hobart's Bellerive Oval, it looked like Australia was going to be denied another Test victory.

The team ended up triumphant by 137 runs, but it took until well into the late afternoon before the final wicket of Shaminda Eranga fell.

On two occasions already this summer, the Baggy Greens looked on track for wins against South Africa in the recently-completed three-Test series, before a combination of rain and stubborn batting denied them.

The ever-consistent paceman Siddle ruined Sri Lanka's plans of hanging on and forcing another disappointing draw on the hosts, finishing man of the match with the overall figures of 9-104.

Siddle took four key wickets to fall yesterday, removing the obstinate quartet of Kumar Sangakkara (63), Thilan Samaraweera (49), Mahela Jayawardene and Angelo Mathews (both 19).

Sangakkara's innings was a courageous 226-ball stay on a difficult and wearing pitch.

Young quick Mitchell Starc went on to finish off the visitors' tail, picking up the last four wickets on his way to 5-63.

The Sri Lankans frustrated Australia to such an extent that keeper Matthew Wade bowled an over just before tea with skipper Michael Clarke trying every avenue to secure an elusive wicket.

The hosts still needed six wickets 20 minutes into the final session before Siddle struck, removing Mathews with the score on 201.

Topics:  cricket, peter siddle, sri lanka cricket team



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