Australia closed day three of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle needing five wickets for victory having set Sri Lanka an unlikely 379 to win the game.
After Australia were bowled out for 210 in their first innings with Rangana Herath taking a five-wicket haul, they reduced Sri Lanka to 120 for five at stumps.
An unbeaten half-century from Mahela Jayawardene helped them rally having made a dreadful start as they slumped to 68 for five.
At that point, the match looked likely to finish before the weekend but Jayawardene dug in to make 57 in 139 balls, and found a willing ally in Angelo Mathews, who was unbeaten on 32 in 57 deliveries at the other end.
Australia resumed the day on 115 for six and added a further 95 runs with Usman Khawaja (26), Ryan Harris (23), Trent Copeland (23 not out) and Nathan Lyon (13) all making useful contributions before Herath grabbed his fifth Test five-wicket haul while there were two wickets apiece for Chanaka Welagedara and Tillakaratne Dilshan.
Tharanga Paranavitana then fell to the first ball of the innings when he was trapped in front by Ryan Harris, who then had a strong appeal for leg before against Kumar Sangakkara turned down from the very next ball.
Australia eventually got their man for 17 when he fended a sharp lifting delivery from Shane Watson to Michael Hussey for a simple catch while Dilshan fell, bowled by Harris for 12 through a large gap between bat and pad as the ball nipped back.
Mitchell Johnson then had Thilan Samaraweera caught by Brad Haddin without scoring and Prasanna Jayawardene picked up a pair when he was bowled by Harris.
Sri Lanka then began their fightback but an Australian victory on day four remains the most likely outcome.
Hussey scored 95 in Australia's first innings score of 373 on the opening day before Lyon's maiden five-wicket haul in any form of cricket - on Test debut - saw Sri Lanka dismissed for their lowest score at the ground as Australia took complete control.
© Cricket World 2011
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