Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sydney, 2nd day January 4, 2013

A guard of honour for Hussey

Plays of the Day from the second day of the third Test between Australia and Sri Lanka in Sydney

The welcome

Few cricketers inspire the kind of universal admiration Michael Hussey has enjoyed in his career, and the spectators and his opponents at the SCG put on a fitting ovation as he arrived at the crease in the second session. The 26,420-strong audience, some of whom had adorned their nose and lips in Hussey's signature zinc, rose to applaud him onto the arena, while Sri Lanka formed a guard of honour often reserved for the greats of the game. Hussey's international career was too short perhaps for him to be considered among cricket's finest, it is difficult to begrudge him the honour his opponents bestowed on him in his last match.

The dismay

Clarke has barely put a foot wrong both with the bat and as captain in the past 12 months, but if Hussey does not bat again in the game, Clarke will have committed a blunder he will have a hard time forgiving himself for. Clarke pushed Dhammika Prasad to the left of the point fielder and called Hussey through for a tight single, but Dimuth Karunaratne rounded the ball and threw down the stumps to find even the sprightly, diving Hussey short of his ground. Clarke's head dropped as he turned around to see the Sri Lankans celebrate at the other end, and he sank to his haunches on the pitch when the third umpire confirmed the visitors' delight.

The blows

Lahiru Thirimanne had spilt two catches at short leg in the third session, but when he finally caught one that Sri Lanka and umpire Dar thought had hit Matthew Wade's bat, the decision was overturned on review. Almost as a punishment, Wade swept powerfully two balls later to collect Thirimanne painfully in the thigh, before the batsman's aim improved and he got the fielder in the box with a similar stroke next ball.

The trend

When Ed Cowan was caught short for 4 attempting to take a second, Australia had lost a top-three batsman to a run out in each Test this series. The dismissal was largely of Cowan's own making as he sauntered a first, then stuttered when he saw Warner charging back for two, while Nuwan Pradeep had hauled the ball in and released it with speed, accuracy and power. Not since the Ashes series of 1977 had one of Australia's top three been run-out in three consecutive matches.

The missed chance

Sri Lanka had given Michael Clarke two reprieves in Melbourne, and their largesse continued in Sydney, albeit with the help of umpire Aleem Dar. Rangana Herath struck Clarke on the pad first with one that pitched outside off stump and straightened, but Dar turned down Sri Lanka's voracious appeal as he had been doing for much of the day. Mahela Jayawardene considered asking for a review, but with only one remaining to them, the uncertainty writ on Herath's face was enough to deter him. Replays showed however, that the ball had hit Clarke in line with off stump and would go on to hit middle.

Andrew Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

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