Nielsen resigns as coach despite Australia's series win

Australia 316 & 488 Sri Lanka 473 & 7-0 (Match drawn)
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The Independent Online

Michael Clarke hit his 15th Test century to lead Australia to a draw against Sri Lanka yesterday and a 1-0 win in his first series as captain, but no sooner had the third Test been concluded here than the Australia coach Tim Nielsen announced he would step down after four-and-a-half years in the post.

Nielsen's last day in charge was a good way to end as Clarke and Michael Hussey put together a record fifth-wicket partnership of 176 to inflict a first home Test series defeat on Sri Lanka since Pakistan triumphed in 2006.

The tourists, who had trailed after the first innings by 157 runs, were eventually dismissed for 488 – a lead of 331 – with just 17 overs of the match remaining. Australia bowled just two of those before the players shook hands.

"All the boys are pretty stoked. It's been a fantastic tour," Clarke said. "I am really proud how the boys have played and personally it was nice to finally get to those three figures."

Nielsen, explaining his decision, said: "We've gone through a lot of thinking since the end of the Ashes. One of [the recommendations] means that the new head coaching role is different to what I do at the moment. I'd need to go through an interview process. I feel like I've done an interview for the job for the last four years, to be honest. I feel that through something totally external my role has been changed and offered to other applicants."