By BV Swagath
Sri Lanka are headed towards a second straight defeat in the hands of Australia after the hosts took the match away from them on the second day of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG. The hosts have piled up a huge first innings lead of 284 runs with still two wickets in hand. Sri Lanka have nowhere to hide with three full days left in the Test Match. There are already without the services of Wicket Keeper Prasanna Jayawardene who broke a finger on Day 1 and his stubborn batting could be missed by them in the second innings. On Day 2, the visitors suffered another blow when their successful bowler on the tour – left-arm seamer Chanaka Welegedara broke midway with a hamstring injury.
The writing was already on the wall for the Sri Lankans after collapsing to 156 yesterday. Australia piled on the agony with Michael Clarke scoring his 5th Test century in the Calendar year. Shane Watson missed out on a century but scored his best of the year – 83 (from 198 balls with 8 fours and a six).
Clarke scored 106 from 187 balls with 14 fours before his flashy shot was caught in the slips. Watson and Wade were caught pulling Dhammkia Prasad into the outfield. Sri Lanka took a long time to get their first wicket of the day but after that a flurry of wickets came their way before they were frustrated by an unbeaten 73* (from 133 balls with 6 fours) by Mitchell Johnson.
Australia finished Day 2 at 440 for 8 in 129 overs. The highlight of Day 2 was undoubtedly the ripper of a one handed catch from Rangana Herath running to his left and then putting on a backward dive to a slog sweep from Michael Hussey.