Australia 542-5d & 210-2d Sri Lanka 246 & 247-3: Sangakkara defiant to give Sri Lanka hope of victory

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The Independent Online

A superb innings from Kumar Sangakkara and a stunning delivery from Brett Lee were the highlights of a fourth day of the second Test, played in sunny, windy conditions and on a pitch ageing as well as Dame Joan Sutherland. Challenged to score 507 to square the series, the Sri Lankans advanced serenely to 158 for 1 here in Hobart yesterday, lost two wickets in two balls and regrouped to reach 247 for 3 at stumps. They were sustained by Sangakkara, who finished on 109 not out.

Sri Lanka's pursuit began with such conviction that scribes were soon compiling a list of successful chases. Michael Vandort was the only casualty of the morning when he mistimed a hook and lobbed a catch to cover.

After tea the Australia captain, Ricky Ponting, asked for an extra effort from his pacemen. Lee obliged with another searing spell. In his first four overs he peppered the batsmen, striking both on the shoulder. His fifth over had reached its fifth delivery when Marvan Atapattu carelessly hooked a bumper straight to a deep fieldsman.

Enter Mahela Jayawardene, author of a skilful and defiant stand 24 hours previously. A fast, inswinging yorker sent down from a greater angle than usual was the last thing he expected. He prepared to shoulder arms and not until the last instant did he realise his predicament. By then the ball had snaked back and removed his off-stump.

Somehow the Sri Lankans fought back. Helped by luck as Sanath Jayasuriya was caught off one of Stuart MacGill's no-balls, the visitors reached stumps with hope intact.

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