Tailenders got me home, says Wade

Tailenders got me home, says Wade

Tailenders got me home, says Wade

Posted 5 January 2013, 19:03 AEDT

Matthew Wade has praised Australia's tailenders for helping him make a long-awaited Test ton on home soil.

Wade hit a scintillating 102 not out to help Australia's tail wag its way to 9 for 432 declared - a lead of 138 - before the bowlers put the hosts on the cusp of victory, reducing Sri Lanka to 7 for 225.

As it happened: Third Test, Day Three

It was a great feeling, I didnt know really what to do to be honest, I carried on a little bit but it was good fun and I would just love to win this Test match for Huss.

Matthew Wade
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Sri Lanka leads by only 87 runs with three wickets in hand, with Dinesh Chandimal (22) and Rangana Herath (7) the only real hopes of extending Australia's target.

Wade said his SCG century was a special moment for him, but said the focus should be on Michael Hussey, on course for a win in his last ever Test.

"It was something pretty special to get my first hundred at home," he told Grandstand.

"It was a great feeling, I didnt know really what to do to be honest, I carried on a little bit but it was good fun and I would just love to win this Test match for Huss."

"[The crowd's reaction to Hussey] has been awesome, he doesn't like that much so he was a little embarrassed by it all, but the crowd has embraced Hussey as one of their own this week.

"Hopefully they keep it up tomorrow. I'm not sure if he'll have a bat - fingers crossed he doesn't - but if he does it will be an amazing sight.

"I've heard a lot about [talk of Hussey opening] but if he gets his way, I'm sure he'll want it to stay the way it is."

Australia opened the third day with a 48-run lead, with Wade on 47. He found seasoned support from Peter Siddle (38) and unheralded number 11 Jackson Bird (6 not out) to see him over the line.

Wade says Siddle in particular has improved his batting, and has backed Bird to shake any bunny label headed his way.

"Sidds has improved his batting out of sight, especially in the last two or three years," Wade said.

"I had a lot of confidence in Sidds ... and Birdy had a really good game plan, a pretty simple game plan to get as far down the wicket and hit the ball off the spinner and luckily enough he stayed around for me.

"In Bird's last innings [in the Sheffield Shield] he had Mitchell Johnson bowling to him down in Tassie and apparently he hung around for an 80-run partnership down there, so I was full of confidence and you've just got to trust the bloke at the other end."

The wicket is going to give us something, it's turning a lot, so we thought that if we could put some runs on the board then we had a chance.

Dimuth Karunaratne
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He says the plan of attack for day four is very simple.

"We've got to get those three wickets as quick as we can. Obviously with a wicket deteriorating, we wouldn't want to be chasing more than 150, 200," he said.

"We've got to get stuck in tomorrow. Chandimal is a very good batter and Herath can hit a good ball, so we've got to get in and get a couple of wickets early."

'We were in the game'

Sri Lanka's day was another case of early promise let down by poor decision making.

But Dimuth Karunaratne may be one batsman to be happy with his work, after he put his poor form with the bat behind him to make a classy 85.

"I think it was a great opportunity for me to get 85 in these conditions, so I think I've missed the opportunity to get my first hundred in Australia," Karunaratne told Grandstand.

He says Sri Lanka sensed a chance to get into a winning position when they neared parity with Australia, but its fortunes dipped when he edged Bird to Wade.

"We were in the game, we did do it well, but we couldn't do some patches [of play] as well," he said.

"The wicket is going to give us something, it's turning a lot, so we thought that if we could put some runs on the board then we had a chance.

"But we lost the final session, (lost) a couple of wickets, so we gave the chance to the Aussie guys.

"We've still got Chandimal, he's a recognised batsman, if he can get a partnership with Rangana [Herath] the next morning, if we can get a 175, 150 (lead) we can do something on this wicket."