Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Hobart, 1st day November 16, 2007

Sri Lanka suffer a Jaques and Hussey rerun

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Australia 3 for 329 (Jaques 150, Hussey 101*) v Sri Lanka
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details



Michael Hussey scored his second successive century © Getty Images

The first day in Hobart gave Sri Lanka flashbacks of Brisbane as Phil Jaques and Michael Hussey each scored their second consecutive century and Australia went to stumps at 3 for 329. Hussey was in danger of spending a night in the 90s but he relieved the pressure in the final over by pulling Farveez Maharoof expertly through midwicket for four to bring up his hundred from 169 balls.

Sri Lanka had changed their attack by including Lasith Malinga but the results were largely the same as the first Test and at the close Hussey was on 101 with Michael Clarke on 8. Hussey's century was just another way the opening day at Bellerive Oval copied the start of the Gabba game - Australia batted first, Matthew Hayden fell to pace, Muttiah Muralitharan removed Ponting, and Jaques reached triple-figures with Hussey by his side.

But while repeats did not bother Australia, Sri Lanka were frustrated by the Jaques and Hussey rerun. The pair combined for a 152-run partnership that justified Ponting's decision to bat on a pitch that offered some early seam movement but was essentially ideal for batting.

Jaques lost his cool for 100 at the Gabba and this time skied a catch for 150 - Sri Lanka will be glad there is no third Test for him to continue the pattern with 200. While his Brisbane hundred was an uncharacteristic, prolonged effort, his follow-up in Hobart was much more typical of his style.

There were plenty of vicious square cuts, effective pulls and wonderful cover drives as Jaques played to his strengths, picking off loose balls from the fast bowlers and reaching his century from 152 balls. Dilhara Fernando was especially helpful and regularly served up short deliveries outside off stump that Jaques rocked back and cut, or over-corrected with half-volleys that invited drives straight or through the off side.

Jaques also found runs off the other fast men - particularly impressive was a four off Malinga where he angled his bat upwards and gently lifted the short ball over the gully region. But he knew his limitations and was watchful against Muralitharan, who troubled him in the first Test. Jaques struck 18 fours but none of them came against Muralitharan, who restricted him to 19 runs purely from singles and twos. Spin did account for Jaques in the end but it was the left-arm variety. Shortly before the new ball was due Jaques advanced to Sanath Jayasuriya and lofted him to long on, where Fernando took a comfortable catch.

Hussey was slightly more at ease against the slow bowling than Jaques, but he too was content to push easy singles and Mahela Jayawardene seemed willing to concede them. As usual, Hussey compiled his runs with a minimum of fuss and looked at his best when cover-driving over-pitched balls from Malinga and his friends. He did manage a couple of boundaries against Muralitharan, though, including a regulation pull forward of midwicket from the third ball he faced.

Things had not been so easy when Jaques and Hayden started, although Jaques improved on the 34 balls it took him to get off the mark in Brisbane by scoring his first run from his 18th delivery this time. Sri Lanka's fielding gave the pair some let-offs, including two costly missed run-out chances when Jaques was in the 20s. He was so keen to keep the scoreboard moving that his judgement of singles was flawed, and both Malinga and Jayasuriya would have caught him short had they managed direct hits from the infield.

Jayawardene also missed a run-out opportunity and dropped Hayden at second slip off Maharoof. Fortunately for Sri Lanka, the Hayden mistake was quickly righted - he had added only three more runs when he slashed hard at Fernando and got a bottom edge to the wicketkeeper for 17. Ponting (31) then combined with Jaques for an 85-run stand that ended when Muralitharan tossed up a straighter ball wide of off stump and enticed an edge to slip.

Sri Lanka's attack initially looked much more potent with Malinga taking the new ball, as his extra speed added another dimension to the seam-based attack. However, one wicket in each session was a disappointing team result and might have left Chaminda Vaas wondering what he could have achieved had he been selected.

Vaas was desperately unlucky to be squeezed out for Malinga and is now stranded on 99 Tests. While Malinga had little impact, Sri Lanka will need a major contribution from their other inclusion, Kumar Sangakkara, if they are to avoid a 2-0 series defeat.

Brydon Coverdale is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo