Hussey bows out in style
Mike Hussey signed off from international cricket in fitting fashion as Australia completed a 3-0 Test whitewash of Sri Lanka with a five-wicket win in Sydney.
Hussey - a key figure in Australia’s batting line-up for the best part of a decade - announced his decision to retire from Tests prior to this match and was subsequently left out of his country’s one-day squad, with the selectors keen to build for the 2015 World Cup.
In what is therefore certain to be his final appearance for Australia, Hussey contributed 27 not out to guide Michael Clarke’s side to a victory target of 141.
He did not strike the winning run, despite the best efforts of sixth-wicket partner Mitchell Johnson, but will surely take great satisfaction from ending his decorated career, which has featured 6,235 Test runs at an average of 51, on a winning note.
Hussey, run out for 25 in the first innings, may not have expected to bat when Sri Lanka resumed this morning on 225 for seven, leading by just 87.
However, Dinesh Chandimal’s unbeaten 62 lifted the tourists to 278 all out and Rangana Herath then picked up three wickets in the run-chase, which got off to a shaky start as David Warner fell first ball to a catch at second slip off Suranga Lakmal.
The gritty Ed Cowan shared 45 with Phil Hughes and 59 alongside Clarke to steady the ship and there were cheers from the home fans when the captain was caught at bat-pad off Tillakaratne Dilshan, such was their desire to see Hussey one last time.
Herath, who had earlier accounted for Hughes, subsequently removed Cowan and Matthew Wade, but his efforts proved in vain.
Johnson was soon attempting to allow Hussey the honour of completing victory, only to see his partner scamper through from the non-striker's end for a quick single after an outside edge had squirted away to point.
Australia had earlier wasted little time in claiming two of the three wickets they required; Herath played on to man of the match Jackson Bird in the sixth over of the day, while Lakmal was cleaned up by Johnson in the next.
However, Chandimal found support from last man Nuwan Pradeep, who survived 24 deliveries for his nine, and was able to complete a fourth fifty in five Tests.