Hobart: Seamers Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc skittled Sri Lanka’s last six wickets in a dramatic final session to give Australia a 137-run victory in the last hour of the first Test on Tuesday.
Siddle, who finished the match with figures of nine for 104, and left-armer Starc, who took five for 63 in the second innings, bowled the visitors out for 255.
Having been stymied in similar circumstances by a brilliant rearguard action from South Africa in Adelaide last month, Australia were desperate not to repeat the experience in Hobart.
However, it looked like it might be a case of deja vu at tea after some resilient Sri Lankan batting and a couple of rain breaks frustrated the hosts for two sessions.
Captain Michael Clarke, whose team will take a 1-0 lead to Melbourne for the second match in the three-Test series, said he never doubted his bowlers. “We knew we had to be patient,” said Clarke.
Siddle was named Man of the Match but was also at the centre of a ball-tampering row after a picture of the bowler apparently picking at the seam in Sri Lanka's first innings circulated on social media.
The Sri Lankan team had not made an official complaint but spoke to match referee Chris Broad. The ICC later said no charges would be laid.
“Why would I jeopardise that when we can go out and win in the spirit of the game?” a surprised Siddle added.