Sri Lanka struggling to avoid series whitewash against Australia

Dimuth Karunaratne

Sri Lanka faces a struggle to avoid a series whitewash against Australia after finishing day three of the third and final test on 225-7 in their second innings, just 87 runs ahead.

Wicketkeeper Matthew Wade's unbeaten 102 before lunch helped Australia to a first-innings 432-9 declared at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Sri Lanka started its second innings strongly, but the loss of five wickets for 46 runs after tea turned the match firmly back toward the home side.

Sri Lanka still had hope of a first ever test win in Australia while Dimuth Karunaratne and Mahele Jayawardene were at the crease but Karunaratne edged Jackson Bird to Wade for 85 to start the slump.

The dismissal of Jayawardene for 60 made it 178-6 and exposed the inexperienced Sri Lanka tail.

Six wickets in the final session and a likely quick mopping-up of the tail on Sunday should allow Australia to push for a 3-0 series victory. However the SCG is notoriously difficult for sides batting last. The highest fourth-innings winning total at the ground is 288.

Australia resumed the day on 342-6 in response to Sri Lanka's first innings of 294, and Wade and Peter Siddle added another 42 runs together to take their seventh-wicket stand to 77.

Siddle raced from his overnight 16 to 30 at the rate of a run a ball and made his highest score of the summer (38) before he was deceived by a bouncing delivery from Nuwan Pradeep and was caught behind by Dinesh Chandimal.

Rangana Herath trapped Mitchell Starc (2) leg before wicket and bowled Nathan Lyon for 4, finishing with 4-95, but Wade kept throwing his bat at anything hittable to keep the scoreboard rolling.

Wade reached his century with his ninth four and ran halfway to the boundary in celebration, leaping and swinging his bat in the air. Bird had to run after him to congratulate his teammate.

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