Marsh, Hussey dig in on day two

Australia

An unbeaten century stand between Shaun Marsh and Mike Hussey took Australia into a healthy lead in their second Test against Sri Lanka in Pallekele.

An unbeaten century stand between Shaun Marsh and Mike Hussey took Australia into a healthy lead in their second Test against Sri Lanka in Pallekele.

Marsh was 87 not out in his first Test innings when bad light brought a premature close to day two, while Hussey was unbeaten on 76 as Australia went to stumps on 264 for three – a lead of 90.

Left-hander Marsh proved that claims he used to be soft certainly don't apply any more as he grafted his way to fifty in 133 deliveries, taking the patient approach against Sri Lanka's three spinners.

His strike rate improved after he passed the landmark, but his focus remained as father Geoff watched on from the stands.

Three wickets in the morning session had given Sri Lanka hope that they could fight their way back into the match, only for an industrious 148-run partnership to put Australia well ahead.

Shane Watson fell in the second full over of the day when he shouldered arms and was bowled by Suranga Lakmal before Australia had added to their overnight total of 60 without loss.

Phil Hughes moved to 36 at an unusually sluggish pace before he was caught bat and pad off the bowling Suraj Randiv, while skipper Michael Clarke was caught at second slip after chasing a wide delivery from Chanaka Welegedera.

However Marsh's focus was unwavering, and he found a stable partner in Hussey as the duo grafted their way through a wicketless second session, and then added 13 to the total in the 4.3 overs that were possible after tea.

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