And that's it for today, folks, RC signing off here at Blog Central. Been a great day's cricket, a great day's entertainment, thanks for all the banter! Let's finish it off tomorrow, I'll meet you back here around 10am for the 10.30 start. Good evening to you all!
STUMPS SCORE: Sri Lanka 7/225 (Chandimal 22*, Herath 7*) SL leads by 87 runs.
WHAT HAPPENED: Sri Lanka made some good inroads into the Australian tail early on, before Wade gave the home side a decent enough lead with a brilliant hundred. Sri Lanka then challenged strongly again in its own innings, at one stage only six runs in arrears with nine wickets still in hand! But, not for the first time, it couldn't sustain the pressure, some irresponsible middle-order batting seeing it lose 6/70, its lead of 87 with only three wickets in hand not nearly enough.
WHAT IT MEANS: Australia should have this wrapped up not long after lunch tomorrow, Sri Lanka without sufficient bowling strength to put the shudders through the home side even if it does grab a few early wickets. The visitors have shown better resolve this Test, but concentration, both in the field, and particularly with the bat, remains an obvious and very large achilles heel. Aussies have got the job done, but India away and two Ashes series will require far more still than they've served up this summer.
Hello! Hussey bowled one down leg, and Wade appeals for the stumping. Only problem was batsman was in by a metre and the keeper didn't take it! And Herath takes a two off the last ball to finish things off. That's stumps. Great day's cricket, that! SL 7/225 at the finish, the lead 87 runs.
And Chandimal obviously hasn't read the script! First-ball is a juicy half-volley outside off and the keeper smacks him for four! Good way to endear yourself to the locals!
And one of the biggest cheers of the day comes as retiring champion Hussey comes on to bowl! Come on Huss, might not get a bat, so grab a wicket instead!
Mistimed pull from Herath to mid-on doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. Don't think the SL tail is one to hang around! Close shout now for LBW from Starc, comfortably missing leg, though, and rightly, no review.
Starc gets a couple to jump a bit, Bird from the other end bowling a pretty good line. Chandimal is going to have the odd swing, though, and whacks him through covers twice in a row for four. SL 7/216, lead is 78.
WICKET! Starc back into the attack, and strikes immediately. Angled away from Prasad, gets a healthy nick, Wade does the clean-up work. SL 7/202, or effectively 7/64.
There's the 200 up, the SL lead now 62. Another 150 and perhaps they're some sort of chance, Chandimal and Prasad at least digging in a little.
Nearly another one, Lyon gets an edge from Prasad, and it flies past Wade's right glove. True that his glovework has been less than razor sharp, but very early days, and I'm prepared to give him a chance or two after that knock earlier! SL 6/187.
WICKET! Jayawardene's gone! And so is Sri Lanka, you'd think. Gets a thickish edge off Siddle, and Clarke at first slip takes it low down in front. Good catch and SL in all sorts now, will be lucky to lead by 100.
WICKET! Another run out! Mathews pushes Lyon to mid-wicket, where Warner's dive stops it getting past, causes both batsmen to hesitate mid-pitch and the batsman, upon turning back, to be left at least a metre short! Disaster for Sri Lanka, only 40 runs to the good with just five wickets left now.
Anyone sensing Heals aint much of a Wade fan? Has been sloppy at times, but worth remembering they called Marsh "iron gloves" early on, too. ... SL hanging in there, 4/177, lead by 39.
Drinks break. Gatorade carts come out ... as does Jeeves at Blog Central ... think an iced tea for me, please ... but do we call you a valet or a butler?
Well, Mathews ain't going to die wondering! Already 16, comprised of four boundaries, Lyon probably not unhappy, though, will give him a chance. Siddle coming on to replace Johnson, SL 4/176.
Johnson coming around the wicket now. Jayawardene rightly pretty peeved at his middle-order colleagues, that was an absolute shocker from Samaraweera before, would be giving the skipper a wide berth in the rooms if I were him! SL 4/164, lead by 26.
WICKET! Mr Cricket takes a screamer! Lyon strikes, Samaraweera, still not off the mark, for some inexplicable reason charges down the track to the spinner. Doesn't get to the pitch, hoiks it up in the air and the retiring Hussey after running with the flight takes it safely! Great fielding, stupid batting! SL 4/158, Mathews the new man.
WICKET! Another big moment, good bouncer from Johnson, Thirimanne takes it from in front of his visor, but can't get good enough connection, and it goes down the throat of Bird at deep fine leg. SL 3/155, lead by 17.
And ... he's .... SAFE! Replay shows left-hander got a tiny inside edge before it hit his leg ... would've gone over the top as well.
WICKET! Or is it? Lyon smacks Thirimanne in front, given out LBW, but he's challenged it straight away .... let's see ...
Fifty for Jayawardene! Beautiful clip off the pads for four brings up the milestone from 89 balls. Good knock, departing skipper came in early and gave great support to Karunaratne, now he's setting the pace. SL 2/147.
Good tight bowling from the Aussies since tea, just nine runs added in half an hour along with the crucial wicket of Karunaratne. SL effectively 2/1, still plenty of scope to build a very challenging target. Incidentally, largest fourth innings target ever chased down at the SCG is just 2/288 by Australia against South Africa.
Karunaratne deserves plenty of plaudits for that knock, hadn't looked like it previously, but was terrific today, confident and aggressive from the word go. Interesting dismissal, too, no obvious hotspot, might have survived if he'd challenged, but knew he'd knicked it. Let's add good sport to the boquets as well.
WICKET! Huge moment, Bird gets Karunaratne! Little bit of movement through the air, left-hander was tempted, and fine edge flies through to keeper Wade. Massive blow for SL, massive relief for Australia, and the game swings again.
Siddle to open up from the members' end, has a great knack of getting the badly-needed breakthrough, and boy do the Aussies need it now.
Set to go again here, big session for both sides, few quick wickets and Aussies right on top again, another hour or so from this pair and you'll be able to feel the tension of the home side as the pendulum of power swings away. Going to be Bird to open up the bowling, Karunaratne on strike. Let's go!
TEA SCORE: Sri Lanka 1/130 (Karunaratne 83*, Jayawardene 38*)
That will be tea, folks. Terrific fightback from Sri Lanka here, 112 added in the session for the loss of one wicket, this stand's worth 106, Aus now leads by only eight runs, and Karunaratne is closing in what would be a terrific ton. Crucial last session coming up, join us in 15 minutes or so!
And .... he's .... SAFE! ... Hawkeye shows it would have bounced over the top of leg stump, to the jeers of the crowd. Reckon it was worth a go, though.
That's got to be close! Siddle traps Karunaratne in front, huge shout, turned down but it's going to be challenged!
There's the 100 partnership up, from just 133 balls, and the deficit is just 12 runs, game-turning stuff this!
Bang goes Karunaratne! Savage cut for four from Starc, moves to 79. He's gone from looking barely Test standard in Melbourne to a real danger man here. SL now 1/122, trailing by just 16 runs, she's game on, folks!
Jayawardene looking just as confident as his partner now, no demons in the track and bowling hasn't had too much fire about it lately. SL really working themselves back into the picture here at 1/106, Aus. lead is only 32.
Chance goes down! Good ball from Lyon, found Karunaratne's outside edge, but ball hit Wade's left glove and flew away to slip before he knew it was there! Clarke can't grab the spoils, was wrong-footed ... boy, that could be a big moment. SL 1/92.
Fifty for Karunaratne! With a six no less! Lovely lofted drive from Lyon sums up his growing confidence. This has been a really good knock, has played very confidently, obviously dominating the scoring with SL at 1/86.
There's the drinks break, good hour for the visitors despite the wicket, some really positive, attacking strokeplay, and Aussie lead is being whittled away. Players are, as they say, refuelling ... just a short black for us, thanks Jeeves.
Lyon is on for a bit of a tweak, Aussies need a breakthrough with the lead evaporating. Close shave second ball, Karunaratne hits over the top of it, but hits backs well, deposits "Gazza" through leg side for four. Now he cuts Starc for a boundary, moves on to 43, easily the best he's looked. SL 1/68.
And the SL skipper picks Siddle off his pads over square leg for a boundary. Uppish shot but totally safe, the 50 comes up, batsmen looking reasonably confident and the deficit is shrinking, Aus. 88 in front now.
Jayawardene looking comfortable enough, SL still more than 100 in arrears, though. Johnson and Siddle pressing hard for another breakthrough. This is probably the most crucial partnership for the visitors, can't rely on Australia crumbling in a fourth innings chase.
WICKET! Johnson strikes, Dilshan's gone, left-armer got the thick outside edge to third slip, and Hughes does the job. Pretty close to bouncing, and the umps have decided to send it up stairs for a look, but it will confirm Hughes got his hands cleanly underneath. He's gone, SL 1/24.
Bird from the other end, Dilshan finally gets off the mark, took him 15 deliveries to do so, big innings for him. SL 0/20.
All set to go again after a cracking first session. Uphill battle for Sri Lanka but started well in that little pre-lunch session, let's see if they can continue. It's going to be Dilshan on strike, Mitch Johnson opening the bowling, his first crack for the innings.
LUNCH SCORE: Sri Lanka 0/18 (Karunaratne 17, Dilshan 0).
And that'll be lunch, folks. Good start by SL, Karunaratne has played some positive strokes, SL still 120 runs in arrears, however, with a mountain to climb. Plenty of action indeed in that first session, the obvious highlight the brilliant hundred to Matthew Wade, capably assisted by No.11 Jackson Bird! Let's hope the lunch-tea show offers as much. See you in half-an-hour or so!
Positive start for Karunaratne, cuts Starc past point and it races away for four! Bit of swing for the left-armer, though. Too full, and opener punches him for another boundary. Sri Lanka 0/8. It's going to be Bird from the other end to Dilshan.
About to go again here. SL are going to have to face at least four if not five overs before lunch. It's Karunaratne on strike, with Starc opening the attack.
And now Australian skipper Clarke has declared at 9/432! Don't think anyone expected that, but smart move, Aussies will get three or four overs at Sri Lanka before lunch. The lead is 138 runs, with a nasty little period for the visitors coming up.
Now Wade survives a chance! Had a smash at Lakmal, got a huge top edge, and at deep fine leg is put down!
100 for Wade!! He's done it! Beautiful timing, drive through cover for four, deep fieldsman couldn't cut it off, and crowd goes mad! That's his second Test ton, from 156 balls with nine boundaries.
Smashes another one! Just short of the rope over cover, he's 95! Then gets a two ... 97 ... come on Wadey, come on, come on ... etc.!
Two more for Wade, he's on to 90! Smashing everything now, takes another single ... Bird plays it out again, and Wade's back on strike. Would be a popular ton, this!
French cuts for another two, then pushes a single, takes him to 88. Big Bird has one ball to survive in the over ... and clips a boundary off his pads! Aus. 9/418, Wade back on strike!
Great shot Wade! Field is spread, but leftie just picked the gap between deep cover and deep mid off for another four! Then repeats the does for two ... he's 85 ... come on Wadey!
And Bird gets his first runs in Test cricket to thunderous (if slightly ironic) cheers! Pushes a two into covers, Wade back on strike, 79 not out, shades of Douggie Walters and Jim Higgs more than 30 years ago!
Beautiful shot from Wade, sensing the end is nigh, opens up and lofts a cover drive off Pradeep, crashes into the fence for four. Then deflects another short ball through gully for another boundary! Can Bird hang on and help him get the ton? Wade's on 79 now.
WICKET! Now Herath's getting the rewards! Beats Lyon all ends up in flight, tailender can't resist a swing and is bowled neck and crop! This is a really good fightback by the visitors, not out of this game by a long shot! Aus. 9/392.
Here's the first drinks break of the day, plenty of action in that first hour, Aussies added 51 but lost two wickets late in the piece. Lead is 99.
WICKET! Starc's given out LBW, beaten for turn by Herath, hit on the back pad, that looks pretty out! Batsman goes the review in the hope it might have bounced over the stumps, but Hawkeye confirm it would have knocked over the castle! Sri Lanka back in the ball game! Aus. 8/387.
WICKET! Siddle's gone, caught behind to Pradeep. Nice ball, just moved off the seam, Siddle couldn't resist a swing, and a decent edge lands safely in Chandimal's gloves. Good partnership worth nearly 80, the lead is now 90. Starc's turn to provide Wade with some support.
Boy, Herath's bowled pretty well this series with absolutely no luck, and it happens again! Siddle plays and misses, then next ball gets a little edge which falls just short of slip. Wouldn't be bothering to buy a lottery ticket at the moment if I were him!
Our man Jesse Hogan says the Sri Lankans are now 4 from 16 reviews this season. Might want to do some video work with the umps after this match!
Review time! Siddle flicked at Pradeep, who's come into the attack this over, down the leg side, and there's a big shout. Didn't look like he nicked it, and umpire turned it down, but SL is desperate enough now to give it a shot ... not surprisingly, it's turned down, and that was their last review ... haven't used them that well this series, the visitors!
Fifty for Wade! Boy, not without a fright, though. Left-hander pulled Herath to mid-wicket, hard and flat, bouncing just in front of Samaraweera. Rides his luck, the new keeper, but this is proving an important stand.
Beautiful shot from Wade! Spanks a cover drive from Lakmal for four, this lead's building quickly now, partnership worth 65. Aus. 6/372.
Another run out chance! Siddle a bit slow to respond to another sharp call, and just gets his bat over the line at the strikers' end as it goes to the third umpire. He's safe ... phew! A third run out in the innings would be a disaster! Aus. 6/364.
And there's a five for Siddle! Pushes a very risky single to mid-on, the throw from close range misses, and there's no one backing up, ball racing to the fence! Lucky Bill Lawry's in the box at the moment because, yep, it's all happening! Aus. 6/360.
Spinner Herath opens up from the other end, immediately finds a nice line and length, and a bit of a mid-pitch mix-up between the batsman makes hearts flutter.
Good attacking start from Siddle. Just leans into a full-pitcher from Lakmal and it races down the ground for four. Half-shout for LBW next ball but was going way down leg side. Wade to get his turn now. Can he get the 50 out of the way first thing? Aus. 6/346.
We're all set here. It's going to be Siddle on strike, with Lakmal to open the bowling. Let's play ball!
You'd have to say Sri Lanka has really stuck to the task so far this game compared to the insipid effort in Melbourne, but more danger looms today with the lead near 50 and this pair starting to look good towards stumps last night. The track will be a factor, though, and runs in the fourth innings historically are hard to come by here.
The weather is beautiful for day three, sunny with a forecast top of 29 degrees. It's an in important day off the field, too, Jane McGrath Day, with, as usual, the SCG a sea of pink as the crowd rallies once again in the name of cancer research. It's become one of the great days on the Australian sporting calendar, this one.
Good morning everyone, RC with you here at Blog Central to take you through day three of the third Test at the SCG. Australia is handily placed but far from invincible at 6/342 with a 48-run lead on the first innings. Can they assert their authority early in the critical mid-part of this Test? Let's find out!