Clarke 'stoked' with Test win

Skipper hails Aussie grit on tough wicket

Last Updated: 03/09/11 12:59pm

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Clarke: First innings was crucial

Clarke: First innings was crucial

Sky Bet

Michael Clarke has paid tribute to his side's mastery of tough conditions in Galle after Australia's 125-run victory over Sri Lanka in the first Test.

Clarke said that Australia's first innings performance, on what he described as one of the toughest wickets he had ever experienced, had been crucial to the outcome of the match.

Electing to bat first after winning the toss, the tourists made a battling 273, underpinned by 95 from Mike Hussey, before skittling Sri Lanka out for just 105.

"I'm really stoked at the way we went about our work over the four days. I think we played really well on a pretty tough wicket."
Michael Clarke Quotes of the week

"I'm really stoked at the way we went about our work over the four days," said Clarke, who claimed his first Test win as captain with the victory. "I think we played really well on a pretty tough wicket.

"I think if you speak to all the batters, that's definitely one of the toughest wickets I've had to bat on in a Test match - and that's on day one.

"Day one felt like day five of a Test match. To scratch out 270-odd in the first innings - they were crucial runs. We were pretty happy with that.

Backfired

"Then to bowl the way we did in the first innings set the game up."

Clarke also admitted that winning the toss had been vital to the win on a pitch which turned alarmingly even on the first day.

"I hate to see a Test match decided by the toss," he added. "No doubt it was prepared for spin bowling, but it might have backfired."

Sri Lanka skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan agreed the first innings had been a vital factor in the end result which saw Australia take a 1-0 lead in the three Test series.

"I feel if we had got to even 200-225 in the first innings, we would have had a good tight match," he said.

"We expected the pitch to turn, but not so much from the first day. But Test cricket is not easy. It's just one of the challenges of Test cricket."

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