Source: Agencies | 2013-1-6 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
Australia's Mike Hussey bowls the last over of the day during the third day's play of the third cricket test match against Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday in Australia. Sri Lanka struggled to gain an 87-run lead.
Photo by Reuters
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 its 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 today should allow Australia to push for a 3-0 series victory. However the SCG is notoriously difficult for sides batting last.
"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," Wade said. "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."
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.
Karunaratne and Jayawardene guided Sri Lanka to 130-1 at tea for only the loss of Tillakaratne Dilshan; the opener edging Mitchell Johnson to Phil Hughes in the slips for just 5.
"We were very disappointed with the batting in the last session," Karunaratne said. "If Chandimal can put some runs on the board tomorrow, we can do something on this track."