Dhananjaya de Silva helped Sri Lanka give a daunting target to Australia on Day 5 © AFP
Dhananjaya de Silva helped Sri Lanka give a daunting target to Australia on Day 5 © AFP

Australia have lost the first wicket in their last innings just before the stroke of lunch on Day Five against Sri Lanka. Chasing an imposing target of 324 runs to avoid a whitewash and register an unlikely victory, Australia started their second innings in style with their first half-century stand for the first wicket in the series. David Warner survived two close calls but is still there for the visitors, batting on 44. Dilruwan Perera got the breakthrough for his side and they are just nine wickets away from their third consecutive win. Earlier in the day, Sri Lanka batted for a few more overs to extend their lead over 300 and give a fitting target for the visitors in the final Test of the series. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Sri Lanka vs Australia, 3rd Test at Colombo

The match had panned out well for the visitors till the first innings as they had a slender lead of 24 runs but, as has been the case for them in the entire series, they lost the plot in second innings and have a daunting task ahead to draw the game as a win looks out of proportion for them, at the moment. Sri Lanka came out to bat in the second innings and were looking erratic with the score at 152 for 5 but a timely century from Kaushal Silva and a handy half-century from Dhananjaya de Silva bailed the team out of crisis situation. COMPLETE UPDATES: Sri Lanka vs Australia, 3rd Test at Colombo

Sri Lanka have had all their youngsters performing in this series so far and will be a pleasing sign for them before their next assignment comes. They have already sealed the fate of the series with an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-Test series and are staring down the neck of the No. 1 Test team in the world for a clean sweep. Steven Smith and Warner will have to play out of their skin in the remaining two sessions as their lower-order have looked clueless against spin.

Australia have three teams in the form of India, Pakistan and England breathing down the neck for the coveted No. 1 Test rankings and they have a task in hand to save themselves from further humiliation and redeem some pride. They have a grueling season ahead in the sub-continent and will like to make most use of this opportunity.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 355 & 347/8 decl. (Kaushal Silva 115, Dhananjaya Silva 65*; Nathan Lyon 4 for 123) lead Australia 379 & 77 for 1 (David Warner 44*, Shaun Marsh 23; Dilruwan Perera 1 for 31) by 247 runs.

FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Sri Lanka vs Australia, 3rd Test at Colombo

In photos: Sri Lanka vs Australia 3rd Test, Day 4

(Aditya Sahay is a journalist with CricketCountry who is completely into sports and loves writing about cricket in general. He can be followed on Twitter at adisahay7)