Australia strike twice in the final session in Hobart

Last Updated: 17/12/12 2:51pm

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Australia have Sri Lanka on the ropes as they look to secure victory in the opening Test in Hobart.

Having declared on 278-9 at tea on the fourth day for a lead of 392, Australia then struck twice in the final session to leave the tourists on 65-2.

Shane Watson had Tillakaratne Dilshan (11) caught behind by Matthew Wade, while Dimuth Karunaratne (30) was bowled by Mitchell Starc.

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene remain the two major obstacles to Australia's ambitions, though - with the experienced duo unbeaten at stumps.

Sangakkara was the more positive of the duo, reaching 18, while Jayawardene scored just five off 37 deliveries.

Resuming on 27-0, Australia had set out in the search of quick runs in a bid to set Sri Lanka a challenging target - and openers David Warner and Ed Cowan certainly dominated early on.

The duo put on 132 for the first wicket before Sri Lanka gave themselves hope. Warner (68) and Cowan (56) both fell in quick succession, while Watson, Phillip Hughes and Wade all departed cheaply as Australia slumped to 181-5.

Defiant

The ever-reliable partnership of Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey steadied the ship, though, with a 57-run stand.

However a hamstring injury ended Clarke's stay prematurely for 57 - and although Hussey remained defiant, Sri Lanka took advantage to rip into Australia's tail.

Peter Siddle, Starc, Nathan Lyon and Ben Hilfenhaus added just 20 runs between them before Clarke opted to declare rather than risk his injury further by returning.

Rangana Herath finished with 5-96, while Chanaka Welegedara claimed 3-89.

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