Colombo - Sri
Lanka clinched their first series whitewash over a major cricketing
nation Wednesday as they won the third and final Test against Australia
by 163 runs, with spinner Rangana Herath taking 7-64.
Set a formidable target of 324 in their second innings at Colombo's
Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC), the world number one Test side collapsed in
the afternoon session on the fifth day and were all out for 160.
It was the third time in a row that the Australians had lost all of
their Tests in away series against teams from the sub-continent.
Openers David Warner and Shaun Marsh gave Australia some hope of a
consolation win with a brisk start in the morning session but once their
partnership was broken, the visitors suffered a rapid collapse.
off-spinner Dilruwan Perera struck just before lunch to send Marsh,
who scored a century in the century in the first innings in Colombo,
back to the pavilion on 23.
Herath soon took over from his fellow spinner to dismiss Australian
skipper Steve Smith and senior batsman Adam Vogues in the same over.
Warner, who had batted well for his 68 with six fours and a six, was Perera's second big strike.
Herath, who had claimed six wickets in the first innings, then ran
through the Australian middle and lower order as the visitors' batsmen
had no answer to his left-arm spin.
The 38-year-old took the final wicket of Nathan Lyon to trigger wild celebrations in the Sri Lankan camp.
Earlier Sri Lanka, who resumed on 312 for eight, declared their
second innings on 347 for eight with overnight batsman Dhananjaya de
Silva unbeaten on 65.
Playing in just his third Test, de Silva smashed 10 boundaries during
his 74-ball knock, after scoring a century in the first innings.
Kaushal Silva's gritty 115 played a big part in Sri Lanka registering
their first series sweep against a major side since gaining Test status
Defiant centuries from Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva ensured that the hosts get a decent first innings score of 355.
Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Starc remained the standout
performer for the visitors with his 24 wickets in the series including
three five-wicket hauls.
Sri Lanka had only ever beaten Australia once before in a Test match
but they won the first two contests of the series comfortably in
Pallekele and Galle before wrapping up proceedings in the capital.
The teams now head into the limited-overs phase of the tour with the
first of the five one-day Internationals scheduled for August 21.