Australia clinches cliffhanger at death in Hobart Test
Australia won a gripping encounter against Sri Lanka on the last day of the first Test match in Hobart, beating the tourists by 137 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
Australia entered the last session of day five needing six wickets at Bellerive Oval, one more than it needed at the Adelaide Oval against the Proteas when it fell short by two scalps.
Sri Lanka, desperate to salvage a draw like South Africa did successfully last month, fought hard but lost 6-69 in that last session to be all out for 255 in the 120th over, the Age reports.
Peter Siddle reinforced his status as the best bowler in the match, and Australia's pace leader, to claim a four-wicket haul for match figures of 9-104 but was denied his maiden 10-wicket haul by a devastating late spell from Mitch Starc, who claimed 5-63.
At tea Sri Lanka was 4-186, still trailing Australia by 206 runs, with its best batsmen Kumar Sangakkara (63) and captain Mahela Jayawardene (19) both already out.
Two previous rain delays on day five at Bellerive Oval have increased the likelihood that any further delays would result in a further reduction of overs, behind the two, which were lost in the second rain delay.
The visitors began the last session with their last recognised batsmen, Thilan Samaraweera and Angelo Mathews, at the crease, respectively on 38 and 11.
With Sri Lanka needing to score at more than five and a half runs an over to secure victory, and showing no inclination to do so, Clarke went fiercely on the attack, placing most of his fielders in catching positions.