A patched up Sri Lankan side was bowled out for 294 on the opening day of the third and final Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Lahiru Thirimanne (91) and Mahela Jayawardene (72) made half-centuries before Jackson Bird grabbed four wickets as Australia began their bid for a 3-0 series clean sweep.
bet365 make Australia 1/6 to win the game after the first day with Sri Lanka at 9/1 and the draw 8/1.
With Kumar Sangakkara, Prasanna Jayawardene, Chanaka Welagedara, Nuwan Kulasekara and Shaminda Eranga all injured, Sri Lanka handed the gloves to Dinesh Chandimal, Jayawardene moved up to number three in the order as fast bowlers Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep came into the side.
Australia picked five bowlers as Mitchell Starc replaced Shane Watson, Michael Clarke having already intimated that he was confident enough in his side to have Matthew Wade batting at six and Mitchell Johnson at seven.
He will be hoping that the top order can keep Sri Lanka at bay so the likes of Wade and Johnson aren't needed until perhaps day three and they earned the opportunity to rest with another solid bowling performance.
Bird got the home side off to a flyer by having Dimuth Karunaratne caught by Michael Hussey for five and he then had Tillakaratne Dilshan caught behind for 34.
Jayawardene and Thirimanne worked hard to try to get the Sri Lankan innings back on track, the former making 72 in 110 balls and the latter a valiant 91 in 151 deliveries.
Starc had Jayawardene caught by Michael Clarke and after Thilan Samaraweera (12) was trapped in front by Peter Siddle and Starc had Angelo Mathews (15) caught by Hussey, Thirimanne fell within sight of a maiden century when he was caught by David Warner off Nathan Lyon.
He had hit 13 fours and a six and in his innings showed that Sri Lanka, despite the various misfortunes that have befallen them on this tour, were clearly still up for the fight and not about to let Australia simply run away with the match.
Chandimal resisted briefly for 24 in 44 balls before the lower order was blown away by Siddle and Bird, who claimed figures of two for 46 and four for 41 respectively.
Starc returned three for 71, Lyon one for 69 and Johnson was wicketless in 13 overs. In his final Test match prior to retirement, Hussey bowled a couple of overs, including a maiden.
© Cricket World 2013
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