Sydney, Dec 17(ANI): Australia, who are a bowler short after Ben Hilfenhaus suffered a side strain, will need eight Sri Lankan wickets on the last day of the Hobart Test to take 1-0 lead in the ongoing series.
With captain Michael Clarke also struggling with a hamstring injury, Australia will need to dig deep to ensure the tourists don’t create Bellerive history and deny a first home victory of the summer.
The visitors will resume at 2-65 in pursuit of a ground Test-record 393 to win, the Herald Sun reports.
Captain Mahela Jayawardene (five), who took 25 balls to get off the mark, and fellow veteran Kumar Sangakkara (18) survived until stumps to give their country a glimmer of hope, especially given five years ago they reached 410 chasing a world record 507.
Much like day five in Adelaide when James Pattinson was unable to bowl and Australia could only take four of the six wickets it needed against the Proteas, Sri Lanka will look to defy the odds and grind out, at worst, a gallant draw.
Sangakkara, who made a majestic 192 in the failed chase in November 2007, has already shown he is prepared to fight, having dug in for 88 balls.
Clarke suffered the strain during his sparkling 46-ball 57, which helped lift the home side to 278 after it had lost 5-49 either side of tea, following a 132 run first-wicket stand between Ed Cowan and David Warner.
Clarke was forced to retire hurt, exposing the tail to the leading Test wicket-taker in 2012 in spinner Rangana Herath (5-95) as Michael Hussey was left stranded on 31. (ANI)