* Record partnership with Mathews of 161
* Hilfenhaus injured (Updates at tea)
By Nick Mulvenney
HOBART, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Tillakaratne Dilshan scored 132 not out as Sri Lanka batted through the first two sessions of the third day of the first test against Australia for the loss of one wicket on Sunday to reach tea at 249 for five and all but save the follow-on.
Paceman Peter Siddle claimed the one wicket of the day when he trapped Angelo Mathews lbw for 75 shortly before tea, breaking up a record partnership of 161 with Dilshan and bringing wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene to the crease.
Australia's frustration at failing to make further inroads into the Sri Lanka batting line-up after declaring at 450-5 and reducing the tourists to 87-4 on day two was compounded by an injury to paceman Ben Hilfenhaus.
Dilshan had put on 100 runs with Mathews when lunch was taken early because of a heavy rain shower and the pair added another 61 in the second session when Siddle struck.
Finally getting his reward for some fine bowling, Siddle sent down a sizzling delivery that caught Mathews on the back leg with the TV umpire confirming upon appeal that the ball would have clipped the top of the middle stump.
The 341-ball partnership was the highest for Sri Lanka in Australia, beating the 144 Aravinda da Silva and Ravi Ratnayeke put on for the seventh wicket at Brisbane in 1998.
Hilfenhaus, recalled after being rested for the last test against South Africa, had earlier bowled two balls of the eighth over of the day before pulling up with a side strain.
Cricket Australia confirmed the big Tasmanian had been taken to hospital for scans on the injury. Australia have already lost young quicks Pat Cummins and James Pattinson to injury for the season.
Barring a couple of run-out chances and a few loose shots, the remaining Australian bowlers failed to create many opportunities, even if they made life difficult for the batsmen at times.
Tempering his aggressive instincts, Dilshan had spent a nervous half an hour in the nineties before finally graduating to his 15th test century with a four to third man.
The 36-year-old's delight at completing his first century in Australia was made clear to everyone in the ground by the huge yelp he emitted as he skipped down the wicket in celebration.
The hundred came off 148 balls and included 16 fours but its importance to his country in the context of the first match of the three-test was hard to overstate.
Dilshan watched on Saturday afternoon as Australia rammed home their declaration by removing key batsmen Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera cheaply.
The fall of Samaraweera's wicket brought up stumps, leaving the tourists, who have never won a test in Australia, facing an uphill task to save the match over the last three days. (Editing by Greg Stutchbury)
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- Tillakaratne Dilshan
- Peter Siddle
- Angelo Mathews