MIKE HUSSEY finished his international career in a situation he was used to: playing an influential role in shepherding his team to victory.
Hussey arrived at the SCG crease to rapturous applause, Australia needing only 37 for victory over Sri Lanka in the series-ending Sydney Test, a comfortable situation given his team's seven wickets in hand. An over later, he suddenly became the key man after opener Ed Cowan was trapped leg-before for a middling score of 36.
Hussey delighted to go out on a high
Michael Hussey admits it is a dream come true to lead Australia to a clean sweep over Sri Lanka in his last ever Test.
Australia had lost 2-4 in nine deliveries to slump to 4-108 chasing 141, with no specialist batsmen beyond Hussey's new partner Matthew Wade.
Sri Lanka relied on spin - Rangana Herath and part-timer Tillakaratne Dilshan - to break the partnership and slow Australia's pursuit.
Hussey proved he was not daunted by the occasion by deftly reverse-sweeping Herath to the boundary to reduce Australia's remaining runs target to 10, before another trace of uncertainty emerged when Wade was bowled attempting to heave Herath in front of square-leg.
Once makeshift all-rounder Mitch Johnson kept his head after arriving at the crease, it was just a matter of time until Australia had their clean sweep and Hussey had his retirement.
The result extended Sri Lanka's record of no wins in 13 Test matches in Australia, with all but two of those ending in losses. On the last day, however, they were able to gain encouragement from their tail wagging significantly more than it had earlier in the match.
Herath (10 off 31) and Nuwan Pradeep (9 off 24) survived long enough to allow wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal reach an impressive unbeaten half-century. The visitors added an additional 53 runs on day four before they were dismissed for 278.
David Warner was a second-over casualty, edging Suranga Lakmal to second slip for a golden duck to end his streak of four half-centuries. Sri Lanka's desperation for a second breakthrough was evident in the poor referral they made over a failed leg-before appeal from Dilshan, who was given the new ball, against Phillip Hughes.
While Sri Lanka successfully referred a decision to remove Hughes leg-before for 34, they made another ill-advised challenge for the scalp of Michael Clarke for 13. It meant Sri Lanka had exhausted their reviews by the 25th over.
Clarke's eventual departure for 29, caught at short-leg off Dilshan, brought Hussey to the crease - much to the relief of the crowd, who feared Australia would pass the total before Hussey was needed. The departures of Cowan and Wade meant his innings was, fittingly, not simply a cameo.