MIKE Hussey has celebrated his final match for Australia by leading his country to victory over Sri Lanka in the Sydney Test, but was denied hitting the winning runs after Mitchell Johnson accidentally edged a single.
Johnson appeared to have been blocking deliveries on purpose so Hussey could hit the decisive run in his last Test, but when a quick Rangana Herath delivery caught his edge Hussey ran through for the single.
Johnson was visibly upset as he reached the other end, but Hussey was just pleased to win by five wickets in his 79th match.
“I didn’t want to bat at all, I was hoping we’d get the runs none down,” Hussey said.
“That’s what you play the game for, to be there when the winning runs are hit
“This feeling when you win a Test match for Australia is a great feeling.
“I’d just like to be remembered as a good team man.”
Hussey revealed afterward that he will hand the duties of singing the team song to spinner Nathan Lyon.
Hussey had entered at 2.53pm with the score at 3-104.
When the Australians failed to take advantage of a 15-minute extension to hit the winning runs, the tea break was strangely called with just five runs needed for victory.
Hussey skipped off the field to applause and waved to his supporters, and after the win was roundly cheered by the Sydney crowd.
They had wondered if they would see Hussey bat a final time, and they erupted when skipper Michael Clarke was caught by bat pad Lahiru Thirimanne off Tillekeratne Dilshan to cue Hussey’s arrival.
In the process Hussey became the greatest run-scorer from either side in the history of Test matches between Australia and Sri Lanka, surpassing Ricky Ponting’s 975.
There was early concern for Australia when opener David Warner was removed for a first-ball duck in the second over, but even when Phillip Hughes (34), Clarke (29), Ed Cowan (36) and Matthew Wade (8) were dismissed there was never any real danger of Australia falling short.
Earlier, a spirited 62 not out from Dinesh Chandimal – who shared an hour-long 41-run stand with Nuwan Pradeep (9) for the last wicket – steered Sri Lanka to 278.
The total was probably 100 runs short of what the tourists required to have a realistic chance of winning the game.
Sri Lanka departs with its miserable record intact – they have never won a Test in Australia.
Debut: vs West Indies, Brisbane, 2005
Highest score: 195
Debut: vs India, Perth, 2004
Highest score: 109*