Sri Lanka on sticky wicket against Aussies

Published: Monday, November 19, 2007, 7:55 [IST]
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Sri Lanka hit early trouble in their chase for an improbable 507 runs to win the second cricket Test and square the series with Australia at Bellerive Oval on the fourth day here Monday.

The tourists began disastrously when opener Michael Vandort (4) badly miscued an attempted pull shot off Mitchell Johnson and skied to Rhett Lockyer, a fielding substitute for injured Andrew Symonds.

At lunch, Sri Lanka were 23 for one with Marvan Atapattu on five and Kumar Sangakkara on seven. Johnson had 1-5 off four overs.

Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, who remained unbeaten on 53 with Mike Hussey on 34, made the declaration 45 minutes before lunch giving his bowlers just over five sessions to bowl out the Sri Lankans.

The Sri Lankans, already one-down in the two-match series after a heavy innings and 40-run defeat in Brisbane, will have to create history to win the Hobart Test.

The world record fourth innings run chase for victory was 418 for seven by the West Indies against Australia in Antigua in May 2003.

The highest winning run chase at Bellerive was Australia's 369 for six against Pakistan in November 1999 -- which ranks as the fourth highest in Test history.

Opener Phil Jaques was the only Australian wicket to fall on Monday, caught on the point boundary by Michael Vandort off Lasith Malinga for 68.

Jaques was chasing his third consecutive century against Sri Lanka in the series.

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