Australia on verge of Sri Lanka series sweep


Australia were on the verge of a 3-0 series sweep after reducing Sri Lanka to 225 for seven with a slender lead of 87 at close of play on a dramatic third day of the third test on Saturday.
The hosts dominated the morning courtesy of a sparkling unbeaten century from Matthew Wade before declaring at 432-9 with a first innings lead of 138 just before lunch.
The tourists stormed back in the second session on the back of a century partnership between Dimuth Karunaratne (85) and skipper Mahela Jayawardene (60) to fleetingly raise the prospect of a first ever Sri Lanka test win in Australia. Karunaratne fell short of his maiden test century soon after tea with his country still six runs in arrears, however, and Sri Lanka then crumbled to lose six wickets for just 93 runs.
At stumps, Dinesh Chandimal (22) and Rangana Herath (9) were at the crease facing a huge task to extend the lead and make Australia’s chase anything more than a formality. “It could have gone pear-shaped quickly,” Wade told reporters. “It could have gone the wrong way for us this afternoon but luckily enough our bowlers were good enough and they did well to pull it back.
“We’ve got to take three wickets as quickly as we can because we don’t want to be chasing too many on that wicket.” Tillakaratne Dilshan departed for five after just half an hour of the Sri Lanka innings but Karunaratne soon indicated he was in no mood to capitulate. The 24-year-old lefthander, playing only his fourth test, smashed 11 boundaries in his 109-ball knock – the best of them a huge lofted six over long-on with which he brought up his second test fifty. He survive a big scare on 54 when he was dropped behind by Wade but departed soon after tea when the wicketkeeper held on to the ball when Karunaratne was drawn into an edge by Jackson Bird’s reverse swing.
SRI LANKA 1st innings 294
AUSTRALIA 1st innings 432
SRI LANKA 2nd innings
FDM Karunaratne c †Wade b Bird 85
\TM Dilshan c Hughes b Johnson 5
DPMD Jayawardene* c Clarke b Siddle 60
HDRL Thirimanne c Bird b Johnson 7
TT Samaraweera c Hussey b Lyon 0
AD Mathews run out (Warner/†Wade) 16
LD Chandimal† not out 22
KTGD Prasad c †Wade b Starc 15
HMRKB Herath not out 7
EXTRAS (b 1, lb 4, nb 3) 8
TO BAT RAS Lakmal, N Pradeep
FALL OF WICKETS 1-24 (Dilshan, 6.6 ov), 2-132 (Karunaratne, 33.1 ov), 3-155 (Thirimanne, 40.5 ov), 4-158 (Samaraweera, 41.5 ov), 5-178 (Mathews, 49.6 ov), 6-178 (Jayawardene, 50.4 ov), 7-202 (Prasad, 56.2 ov)
BOWLING: MA Starc 10-0-48-1, JM Bird 15-2-51-1, MG Johnson 9-3-19-2, PM Siddle 14-3-35-1, NM Lyon 13-1-63-1, MEK Hussey 1-0-4-0
Match details
Toss Australia, who chose to field
Player of the match tba
Umpires Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and AL Hill (New Zealand)
TV umpire NJ Llong (England)
Match referee BC Broad (England)
Reserve umpire PR Reiffel