A commanding performance by Peter Siddle of day three of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart has Australia looking good for their first win of the season.
Siddle dismissed a brave Sir Lankan attack and took five wickets at the cost of just 51 runs. The visitors came into the day 4-87 and some 363 runs behind, but the duo of Tillikaratne Dilshan (147) and vice-captain Angelo Mathews (75) provided solid resistance.
The pair combined for a fifth wicket total of 161, surviving two entire sessions without dropping a wicket, but the day ultimately belonged to Siddle; he dominated the bowling after a rain delay break taking 4-13 from 12.3 overs with nine maidens during the session.
The Dilshan, Mathews combination managed to save the Sri Lankans from a follow on, but their back order crumbled to score just 5-47, completing a total of 336, 114 behind Australia. The Aussies’ big lead is bolstered by a whole two days of play remaining and the 10 wickets they still have in hand.
Openers Ed Cowan and David Warner finished off the remainder of the day at the crease and experienced some shaky moments before ultimately surviving the day’s final 14 overs to finish 0-27.
Cowan was seemingly caught LBW for five during the period, but the Sri Lankans inexplicably decided not to have the umpires decision reviewed. Dilshan said later after seeing the footage that the decision was the wrong one and the decision was made not to review as the visitors believed their appeal held no weight.
Siddle’s performance was more than needed; Australia currently has seven speed bowlers sitting on the side lines injured after Ben Hilfenhaus was forced to withdraw four overs into the day with what looked to be a side strain.
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