Sydney: Jan 5, 2013
Matthew Wade scored a thrilling unbeaten century as Australia declared to lead Sri Lanka by 138 runs on the first innings on the third day of the final Test in Sydney.
Wicketkeeper Wade opened up in a last-wicket stand of 39 with Jackson Bird to grab his second Test century and give skipper Michael Clarke the opportunity to declare his team's innings at 432 for nine in the half hour before lunch.
The Sri Lankans made a steady start to their second innings and had wiped 18 runs off the deficit, with Dimuth Karunaratne on 17 and Tillakaratne Dilshan yet to score.
Wade scampered towards his teammates in the Sydney Cricket Ground Members Stand and excitedly kissed his helmet after crashing Suranga Lakmal for a boundary to raise his century off 158 balls, after setting out on the third day on 47.
He was dropped by Dhammika Prasad at fine leg two balls later going for another big heave before skipper Clarke called a halt with the declaration.
Wade, who scored 106 against the West Indies in his third Test match in Dominica last April, faced 158 balls and hit nine fours for his first home Test ton.
Bird provided staunch support to give Wade his chance to go after the century. Wade was on 70 when the fast bowler came to the crease. Bird remained six not out.
Only last week Bird left Mitchell Johnson stranded on 92 in the Australian first innings in the second Melbourne Test when he was the last man dismissed.
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath finished Sri Lanka's leading wicket-taker with four for 95 off 31 overs.
Australia lost the wickets of Peter Siddle (38), Mitchell Starc (2) and Nathan Lyon (4) on the third morning, but the tourists were unable to prevent a rush of late runs as Wade went all out after his century.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 294 and 18 for no-loss ( Dimuth Karunaratne 17*) trail Australia 432 for 9 dec. (Phil Hughes 87, David Warner 85, Matthew Wade 102*, Michael Clarke 50; Rangana Herath 4 for 95) by 120 runs
First Published: January 5, 2013, 8:18 am