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Australia seal series win over Sri Lanka

updated 6:12 AM EDT, Wed September 21, 2011
Australia led by captain Michael Clarke (center) celebrate after victory in the Test match series against Sri Lanka in Colombo
Australia led by captain Michael Clarke (center) celebrate after victory in the Test match series against Sri Lanka in Colombo
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Skipper Michael Clarke scores century as Australia seal 1-0 series win in Colombo
  • Clarke and Michael Hussey put on 176 for fifth wicket to deny Sri Lanka
  • Tim Nielsen quits as coach after Cricket Australia redefines role

(CNN) -- Australia clinched a 1-0 series win over Sri Lanka on Tuesday after claiming a draw on the final day of the third cricket Test in Colombo.

The tourists were bowled out for 488 in their second innings shortly before the close leaving Sri Lanka no time to chase the 331 runs they needed for victory.

Captain Michael Clarke led from the front on day five as he scored 112 -- his first century since scoring 168 against New Zealand in March last year.

He was supported by Michael Hussey (93) as the pair shared a fifth-wicket partnership of 176 after day four centurion Phillip Hughes fell early in the day for 126.

Rangana Herath was the star for Sri Lanka with the ball, taking seven wickets for 157 runs conceded. His final victim Peter Siddle, trapped leg before wicket for 26, handed him his 100th Test wicket on his 29th appearance.

Clarke's first tour series win as captain since taking over from Ricky Ponting came courtesy of Australia's 125-run victory at Galle in the opening Test at the beginning of the September. The second Test in Pallekele was drawn.

Despite the win, Tim Nielsen announced that he was stepping down from his role as Australia's coach.

The 43-year-old, who took over from John Buchanan in 2007, has decided not to reapply for the expanded coaching role recommended by the seven-month Argus Review of Australian cricket which was set up in the wake of Australia's 3-1 Test series defeat to England earlier this year.

"The review process has come up with some recommendations that are meant for Australian cricket to get better. One of those is that a new head coaching role that is different to what I'm doing at the moment and had some different responsibilities added to it," Nielsen said, AFP reported.

"For me to continue, I need to go through an interview process with other candidates. I just don't feel it's right for myself or the team to put us through that. I think it's time for me to finish."

Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland said that he understood and respected Nielsen's decision.

Nielsen oversaw nine Test series wins out of 15, but Australia dropped from first to fourth in the world rankings.

Cricket Australia will now make an interim appointment for the upcoming tour of South Africa, which begins in October.

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