Sydney: Sri Lanka made a great start in defending a skinny 140-run lead with the big wicket of David Warner in Australia's second innings on the fourth day of the final Sydney Test today.
The tourists were all out for 278 to leave Australia 141 runs to win the final Test and clean sweep the three-Test series.
But the Sri Lankans struck early, removing the dangerous Warner first ball when he was caught in the slips by Mahela Jayawardene off paceman Suranga Lakmal's first delivery for a duck.
At lunch, Australia were 13 for one with Phil Hughes on 12 and Ed Cowan not out one.
Dinesh Chandimal prolonged the Sri Lankan resistance in their second innings with a defiant unbeaten knock of 62 off 106 balls with 11 fours.
Chandimal shared in a fighting 41-run last-wicket stand with Nuwan Pradeep off 74 balls to give the tourists some vital extra runs to defend on a turning pitch, prolonging Sri Lanka's innings after the loss of two quick wickets on the fourth day.
Rangana Herath was bowled by Jackson Bird for 10 and Suranga Lakmal swung wildly and was cleaned up by Mitchell Johnson for a duck.
Johnson finished with three for 34 and Bird captured three for 76.
Australia will be bidding for a 3-0 series whitewash after big wins in Hobart and Melbourne, while Sri Lanka are after their first-ever victory in 13 Tests in Australia.