Sri Lanka cut short Boon's farewell

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The Independent Online

Australia 502-9 dec 7 & 215-6 dec Sri Lanka 317 & 69-1

Sri Lanka made a determined start in pursuit of a daunting victory target in the third and final Test against Australia in Adelaide yesterday after cutting short David Boon's farewell Test innings.

In his final visit to the crease before retiring from Tests, Boon hit 35 as Australia set the tourists a target of 401 to win.

"I was a bit disappointed to miss out on a big score after getting a start in both innings but at least there were no ducks and I spent some time in the middle," he said.

"There were no tears as I was walking off but it was a bit emotional. I have been overwhelmed by the public's response and the crowd today was sensational."

Closing on 69 for 1, Sri Lanka need another 332 runs to win, or more realistically to bat throughout the final day to avoid a 3-0 series whitewash.

Sri Lanka lost their opener Chandika Hathurusinghe for 14 when he edged a catch to Ian Healy off Glenn McGrath but Sanath Jayasuriya safely negotiated the remaining seven overs to finish unbeaten on 50.

Mark Taylor declared 40 minutes after the tea interval with his side on 215 for 6. Steve Waugh, who scored a century in Australia's first innings remained unbeaten on 61, lifting his Test average to just above 50 in 81 tests.

On his 107th Test appearance, the 35-year-old Boon survived a confident appeal for caught behind first ball and faced 65 deliveries before edging a catch to the wicketkeeper just before lunch.

It left Boon with an aggregate of 7,422 runs at an average of 43.66 in a Test career spanning 12 years. Only Allan Border, has scored more Test runs for Australia.

(Fourth day; Australia won toss )

AUSTRALIA - First Innings 502 for 9 dec (S R Waugh 170, M E Waugh 71, I A Healy 70).

SRI LANKA - First Innings 317 (H P Tillakaratne 65, S Ranatunga 60; P R Reiffel 5-39).

AUSTRALIA - Second innings

M J Slater b Wickramasinghe 15

*M A Taylor b Pushpakumara 10

D C Boon c Kaluwitharana b Vaas 35

M E Waugh c Tillakaratne b Vaas 12

S R Waugh not out 61

R T Ponting c Kaluwitharana b Vaas 20

I A Healy c Hathurusinghe

b Pushpakumara 43

P R Reiffel not out 14

Extras (b1 lb1 nb3) 5

Total (for 6 dec, 73 overs) 215

Fall: 1-22, 2-36, 3-70, 4-75, 5-122, 6-186

Did not bat: S K Warne, C J McDermott, G D McGrath

Bowling: Vaas 21-6-44-3; Pushpakumara 17-2-63-2; Wickramasinghe 13-1-39-1; Dharmasena 22-1-67-0.

SRI LANKA - Second innings

U C Hathurusinghe c Healy b McGrath 14

S Jayasuriya not out 50

A P Gurusinha not out 2

Extras (lb1 nb2) 3

Total (for 1, 21 overs) 69

Fall: 1-51.

To bat: R S Kaluwitharana, S Ranatunga, H P Tillakaratne, *P A de Silva, H D P K Dharmasena, W P U J C Vaas, G P Wickramasinghe, K R Pushpakumara

Bowling: McGrath 9-2-25-1; Reiffel 6-0-20-0; S R Waugh 4-1-9-0; Warne 2-0-14-0.

Umpires: L Barker and S Randell.