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Cricket
Debutant Marsh hits century for Australia
Michael Hussey and Shaun Marsh both make centuries on a day that sees Australia move further ahead of Sri Lanka.
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2011 13:29
Sri Lanka players celebrate finally taking the wicket of Michael Hussey [AFP] 

Shaun Marsh and Michael Hussey completed centuries on a rain-affected third day of the second Test on Saturday as Australia established a 237-run first-innings lead over Sri Lanka.

Australia were 411 for seven when the day's play was called off after only eight overs were bowled in the second session.

Usman Khawaja was 13 not out and Ryan Harris nine not out.

In the first session, Marsh and Hussey made quick runs from the start.

The pair added 110 runs to the overnight score of 264 and extended their fourth wicket partnership to 258 runs before Hussey was dismissed for 142, his 14th Test century, when he was caught by Kumar Sangakkara off part-time bowler Thilan Samaraweera.

Marsh, who replaced Ricky Ponting in the side after the former captain returned home after the first Test for the birth of his second child, completed his debut century when he swept the ball to midwicket and completed a scrambled second run.
 
The 28-year old, who made 141, notched his hundred in front of his father and former Australian Test opener Geoff Marsh, who gave the traditional baggy green cap to his son on Thursday.

"I still can't believe it really. It's a dream to play Test cricket. To be given an opportunity and to go there and getting the hundred in my first innings is a dream. I am so happy," Marsh told reporters.

"I really enjoyed batting with Huss, especially today. We both scored hundreds and it's a very special day. He is a very good man and he has helped me since I have been playing international cricket."

With two more days remaining in the second Test, Australia's first inning lead will be a huge advantage for the tourists against the home team, who are struggling to score runs and were bowled out for a paltry 174 runs in the first innings.

         Marsh (R) and Hussey (L) congratulate each other after both making centuries [AFP]

"I personally think we cannot give any excuses," Sri Lanka coach Rumesh Ratnayake told reporters.

"I really wouldn't know as to what is going on in their minds...It is frustrating. We've been trying to encourage the players and say it's not too late."

The tourists added 33 runs in the eight overs possible after lunch but lost three quick wickets.

Marsh's 315-ball knock came to an end when he was caught by Sangakkara at midwicket off Suranga Lakmal.

In the next over, Suraj Randiv dismissed Brad Haddin for one when the wicketkeeper-batsman was caught at long-on by Sangakkara, who took three catches in the day.

Randiv then bowled Mitchell Johnson with the very next ball.

Australia won the first Test of the three-match series in Galle by 125 runs.

Source:
Reuters
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