Sri Lanka completes first whitewash over Australia

Sri Lanka's only series win over its opponents had come courtesy of a tight 1-0 win in 1999, but Angelo Mathews' side has totally dominated this series.

Rangana Herath (centre), Australia's tormentor-in-chief in the series, picked six wickets in the second innings.   -  AP

Rangana Herath and Dilruwan Perera tore through Australia on day five of the third and final Test to secure a historic series whitewash for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka's only series win over its opponents had come courtesy of a tight 1-0 win in 1999, but Angelo Mathews' side has totally dominated this contest and fittingly rounded out the win with a display of strength on Wednesday, Herath taking 7-64 to end the series with 28 wickets.

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Set an unlikely 325 for victory early in the morning session, Australia initially looked on course to impress, with David Warner's 94-ball 68 anchoring a stiff response before lunch.

However, the tourist fell apart after the interval, losing five wickets for 23 runs immediately after passing 100 and it was eventually bowled out for 160, consigning to a fourth-consecutive series whitewash in Asia.

Australia put on 77 for the opening wicket - by far the best of either side in the series - before Shaun Marsh was brilliantly caught by Kusal Mendis at short leg, parrying the ball up before twisting and taking a one-handed grab.

When David Warner and captain Steve Smith emerged for the afternoon session, there were few clues to the carnage that was to follow.

It was Herath leading the charge, bowling Smith (8) and trapping Adam Voges plumb for one in the same over to begin a landslide.

Warner had shown excellent patience and skill with his feet in particular, but he was bowled around his legs by Perera (2-71) and Mathews sharply ran out Moises Henriques (4).

Herath then raced through the lower order, taking the final five wickets to end a mightily impressive series and leave Australia wondering how it managed to comprehensively lose a Test match in which it reduced Sri Lanka to 26-5 in the first innings before reaching 267-1 in their own first dig.

Having lost its spot atop the Test world rankings, Smith has already hinted at disillusionment with Australia's selection for the series, but its routine failure in sub-continental conditions will be a sharp point of focus with a high-profile series against India to come next year.