Hussey bows out a winner by Damien Bellemore
Mike Hussey was in the middle as Australia chased down their victory target at the SCG for a series whitewash over Sri Lanka. While he did not hit the winning run, this was perhaps befitting of a character that has always sought to put the performance of the team ahead of any personal achievements.
Australia sustained a few anxious moments in pursuit of the 141 run victory target, but eventually reached the mark shortly after tea for the loss of 5 wickets. The winning runs coming off the edge of Mitchell Johnson’s blade despite his best efforts to dead bat the ball, much to the delight of the Sydney crowd.
Mr Cricket finished unbeaten on 27 and ended his Test career with 6235 runs at an average of 51.52. The announcement from national selectors earlier in the day that Hussey was not in the one-day squad as they plan for the 2015 World Cup, ensuring it would definitely be his last international innings.
The win sealed a convincing 3-0 series result over the tourists and also allowed Hussey to lead the team in one last rendition of the team song. As he walked off the ground to a standing ovation and guard of honour from his teammates, Hussey announced spinner Nathan Lyon would be the new custodian of this fabled tradition.
Earlier in the day it seemed the crowd might not get the chance to see Hussey at the crease in Australian colours for one last time, as the hosts went about making light work of the Sri Lankan tail. However they ran into resistance from Dinesh Chandimal's, whose unbeaten 62 ensured a tricky chase on a deteriorating wicket.
After Warner and Hughes both fell cheaply, opener Ed Cowan and Captain Michael Clarke set about guiding the Aussies to within touching distance. But the loss of three more quick wickets had fans on the edge of their seat for another reason. Fortunately Hussey, so often the saviour amid recent top-order failings was there to finish off proceedings.
Jackson Bird was named player of the match in just his second outing for the national team, for his match figures of 7/117. Michael Clarke was judged player of the series for his impressive leadership and runs tally. The result sees Australia move to third in the ICC World Test rankings, ahead of tough tours of India and England later this year.