SYDNEY, Jan 6 — Australia made a shaky start to their pursuit of 141 runs for victory over Sri Lanka in the third test when opener David Warner was dismissed for a duck to leave them on 13 for one at lunch on the fourth day today.
Australia’s pacemen had dismissed the tourists for 278 in their second innings to set up the run chase and Ed Cowan, who had made one, will resume with Phil Hughes (12 not out) after the break looking to knock off the remaining 128 runs.
Cowan had already survived a run out scare when Warner edged the ball to Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene in the slips on the first ball he faced from seamer Suranga Lakmal before a single run had been put on the board.
Already 2-0 down in the series, Sri Lanka had resumed on 225 for seven looking to bulk up their lead of 87 to somewhere between 150 and 175 to give their bowlers something to work with.
Dinesh Chandimal hit a defiant 62 not out off 106 balls but ran out of partners when Jackson Bird had Nuwan Pradeep caught behind for nine half an hour before lunch.
Chandimal and Pradeep had put on 41 for the final wicket after the first two wickets fell fairly cheaply.
Rangana Herath had survived an early run out scare when Matthew Wade threw the ball over the head of Mitchell Johnson but was gone for 10 in the next over when he dragged the ball onto his stumps off the bowling of Jackson Bird.
Lakmal did not hang around for long, departing for a duck after walking across his stumps, swinging and missing and watching Johnson’s delivery shatter the stumps.
Australia won the first test in Hobart by 137 runs and the second by an innings and 201 runs inside three days in Melbourne last week. — Reuters