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Aus clinch series after drawn 3rd Test

Associated Press
Sep 20, 2011 at 05:49pm IST

Colombo: Australia won the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka 1-0 after captain Michael Clarke and Phil Hughes scored centuries to force a draw Tuesday in the third Test.

Australia was dismissed for 488 in their second innings after erasing a 157-run deficit. Spinner Rangana Herath returned a career-best seven wickets for 157 and recorded his 100th Test wicket.

Sri Lanka was set an impossible 331 to win in less than a session and batted for two overs, scoring seven without loss, before the captains decided to call off play.

Aus clinch series 1-0 after drawn 3rd Test

Michael Clarke plays a shot as Sri Lankan fielder Tharanga Paranavithana, back, looks on during the fifth days' play. (AP PHOTO)

Clarke hit 112 and shared a record 176-run partnership for the fifth wicket with Mike Hussey, who was out for 93. Hughes was earlier dismissed for 126.

Hussey was named player of the series after scoring two centuries and two half-centuries in five innings.

Sri Lanka entered the final day hoping for quick wickets in their search for a series-leveling victory. Herath struck in his first over when he had Hughes caught by Lahiru Thirimanne, but Clarke and Hussey combined to frustrate the bowlers, sharing the best fifth-wicket partnership in Test cricket between the two nations.

Clarke hit three sixes and 14 boundaries in a 178-ball innings before he was caught by Tharanga Paranavitana off Herath.

Batting with concentration up to that point, the Australia captain appeared to have been distracted after an on-field argument with Kumar Sangakkara.

Hughes managed to add just four runs to his overnight score, but spent more than five hours in total at the crease to score 126 runs and help build Australia's lead. He faced 220 balls and hit a six and 16 boundaries.

It was Hughes' first hundred in more than two years.

Sri Lanka's bowlers picked up the last five wickets for 40 runs but by then the series had virtually been decided.

The hosts' only bright spot came when Herath trapped tailender Peter Siddle lbw to record his 100th test wicket in his 29th Test.

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