Hussey all praise for Marsh's knock

Australia are 90 runs ahead as their two left-handed batsmen score on a flat wicket on day two of the second Test, at Pallekele.

Shaun Marsh, left, and Michael Hussey run between the wickets on the second day of the second Test.
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PALLEKELE // Michael Hussey paid tribute to Shaun Marsh for his patient knock of 87, on Test debut, against Sri Lanka on Friday.

Australia ended day two of the second of three Tests on 264 for three on Friday, in response to Sri Lanka's 174 all out, with Marsh and Hussey (76) involved in an unbroken stand of 148 runs.

Hussey, who joined Marsh at the wicket with the tourists on 116 for three, later doffed his hat to Marsh, a fellow left-hander and Western Australian.

"We've played all our cricket together for Western Australia," Michael Hussey said of Marsh. "I remember he made 90 in his debut and I remember batting with him for quite a period of time in his first game and he had a very similar sort of tempo.

"He showed tremendous concentration," Hussey said. "There were some periods where the scoring was more difficult. They bowled really tight for a while and he showed great concentration."

Hussey said he hoped to continue in the same vein today. "Obviously he would be a bit nervous overnight [having neared a maiden century], but hopefully we can start well again in the morning."

Marsh, the son of Geoff Marsh, the former Australia opening batsman, could have scored a century, but only 4.3 overs of play were possible in the third session before the game was stopped due to bad light.

Hussey also had words of appreciation for Sri Lanka's bowlers, saying: "The wicket played a lot better today than it did early yesterday.

"There is certainly no real swing movement for the fast bowlers and even with the second new ball, I think the wicket played quite slow, quite flat for the fast bowlers. It wasn't taking a lot of spin either."

Indeed, Sri Lanka's bowlers toiled and Tillakaratne Dilshan, the captain, used seven bowlers including himself and part timers Kumar Sangakkara and Thilan Samaraweera.