Clarke wants to end Test run drought

Colombo: Australia’s cricket captain Michael Clarke has said that opener Phillip Hughes` century (122 not out on Monday) under pressure could be the inspiration he needs to break his own run-scoring drought on day five of the final Test in Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

Hughes made an unbeaten 122 to lift Australia to 3-209 at stumps on day four, a lead of 52 runs with seven second-innings wickets remaining.

He ended a drought stretching back to March last year, the young NSW left-hander having failed to pass 50 in Test cricket.

Clarke, who also hasn`t scored a century since making 168 against New Zealand in Wellington in March 2010, said he would like nothing better than to make that big score to seal the Test series with either a draw or win at the Sinhalese Sports Club ground.

"I feel like I`m batting as well as ever but I need to put runs on the board. I`ll be trying my best. There`s a little bit of spin there, especially with (Rangana) Herath bowling over the wicket into the rough and there`s a little bit of reverse at the moment,” a leading daily quoted Clarke, as saying.

"If I can get through the start and give myself an opportunity, hopefully I can go on and make a few runs. Time will tell ... like Hughesy, hopefully I can go on and make a few tomorrow," he added.

Australia had earlier dismissed the Sri Lankans for 473 in the morning session on Monday, rubbed out the 157-run deficit after tea and made it increasingly unlikely the hosts could push for the win they need to level the series.

But Clarke said he wouldn`t take anything for granted with only a small lead and one full day to play.


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