Hilfenhaus blow for Australia

  • Last Updated: December 16 2012, 16:23 GMT

Australia look set to be without Ben Hilfenhaus for the rest of the first Test with Sri Lanka in Hobart after he suffered a side strain on day three.

Ben Hilfenhaus: Unlikely to bowl again in first Test

It will leave Australia a pace bowler short for the second time in three matches.

The Tasmanian, who took his 99th Test wicket on Saturday evening, managed to bowl just two balls of the eighth over of the day before pulling up.

"Ben's got a side injury, almost a typical fast bowler's injury," Australia's physio Alex Kountouris said.

"It's not too bad at the moment and we'll see what he looks like in the morning but it's looking doubtful whether he'll be able to bowl in the rest of the game."

Australia have already lost young quicks Pat Cummins and James Pattinson to injury for the season.

"I wish it was a simple answer as to why guys are breaking down," said Kountouris. "It's obviously not ideal, we've got more injuries that we'd like to have at the moment. We're working really hard to come up with solutions."

In the absence of Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle shouldered the burden and did so superbly, taking 5-54 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 336 - in reply to 450 - on a track which offered little help to the quicks.

Siddle said: "It's just a question of going about our job and getting the business done. We were lucky enough today that after lunch, all the bowlers dug in and got the job done the way we wanted to do it."

Shane Watson missed the first two Tests in the series defeat to South Africa due to injury and was used sparingly in the third, but he got through 20 overs at the Bellerive Oval as the third seamer.

Kountouris said: "There's absolutely no limits to what Watto can bowl in the game," he said. "Once he plays the game, it's up to the captain how much he bowls, when he bowls."

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