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Australia clinch series with big win

Sportal December 28, 2012, 2:44 pm
Mitchell Johnson

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Fierce bowling from a revitalised Mitchell Johnson powered Australia to an innings and 201-run victory over a hapless Sri Lanka in a Boxing Day Test that ended inside three days.

Johnson captured 2-16, injured two top order batsmen and affected a run out on Friday as the tourists were skittled for 103 at the MCG.

Sri Lanka had lost seven wickets midway through day three's second session but with Prasanna Jayawardene and Chanaka Welagedara unable to bat, along with Kumar Sangakkara unable to return having retired hurt, the Aussies enjoyed a swift kill.

The second-Test trouncing means Australia retain the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy with the third fixture in Sydney to start next week.

Johnson's frightening second-innings effort capped a remarkable Test for the rejuvenated 31-year-old.

The left-armer claimed 4-63 including his 200th victim in Sri Lanka's first innings of 156 before boosting his reputation as a lower order batsman with an unbeaten 92 as Australia replied with 460.

Light showers delayed the start of play by 15 minutes on Friday morning before Australia added 20 runs for the loss of Nathan Lyon, caught at short mid-wicket for one, and Jackson Bird, comprehensively bowled by Shaminda Eranga for a duck, leaving Johnson 92 not out.

Eranaga (3-109) and Dhammika Prasad (3-106) were the leading bowlers for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka couldn't have started the rearguard action any worse as Johnson and Bird (2-29) dismantled their flaky top order.

They had dramatically slumped to 4-13 midway through the morning session.

Johnson started the rot with the run out of Dimuth Karunaratne (one) in the first over and removed Tillakaratne Dilshan (zero) the very next ball when Ed Cowan pouched a catch at square leg.

Debutant Bird made matters worse for the besieged hosts when he bowled Mahela Jayawardene for a duck and trapped Thilan Samaraweera lbw for one just before lunch.

Only Sangakkara (27) and Angelo Mathews (35) provided any resisted and when the former retired hurt after copping a blow to the index finger from a Johnson bouncer the match was in its death throes.

After Johnson bowled Mathews, Peter Siddle (1-32) sealed Australia's win by removing Eranga for a duck.

Johnson took man-of-the-match honours ahead of Australian captain Michael Clarke who scored 106 on day two.

Shane Watson was another contributor for the winners with a gutsy 83 on Thursday, but the all-rounder was unable to bowl in the second innings and is in doubt for the third Test after aggravating a chronic calf injury.

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