Cricket: Sri Lanka complete historic sweep

Sri Lankan bowler Rangana Herath, right, celebrates his side's series victory after taking match figures of 13-145 in the final test. Photo / AP
Sri Lankan bowler Rangana Herath, right, celebrates his side's series victory after taking match figures of 13-145 in the final test. Photo / AP

Australia's clumsy batting collapse on day five of the third Test in Colombo typified their tour as Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath put the finishing touches on a thumping 3-0 series whitewash.

The emphatic 163-run win was sealed late in the second session when Nathan Lyon was lbw to Herath and, with it, Australia lost their No.1 Test ranking in their very first series since being presented with the ICC Test championship mace.

After a hopeful Lyon review, Angelo Mathews and his team celebrated the historic triumph in the middle of the Sinhalese Sports Club ground and in front of a raucous crowd boosted because of a Sri Lankan public holiday.

Sri Lanka's three comfortable victories came in a flurry after they had beaten Australia only once - in 1999 - in 33 years before this tour.

Set 324 on Wednesday for an unlikely win in 83 overs, Australia slumped in all-too-familiar fashion for be all out for 160.

"We have been outplayed in every facet of the game," a glum Australian skipper Steve Smith told reporters.

"It's been a very tough series again.

"That's the our third straight whitewash loss in the subcontinent. What we are doing isn't working."

The capitulation was Australia's ninth straight defeat in Asia following a 2-0 loss to Pakistan in 2014 in the UAE and 4-0 hammering in 2013 at the hands of India.

Australia produced another woeful batting display in the run chase, again failing to cope with the home side's spinners to be skittled in just 44.1 overs.

The wearing pitch took turn and was difficult to bat on, but it didn't justify another collapse of 5-23 in 39 balls not long after lunch when they were motoring along at 1-77.

Herath was again at the forefront for Sri Lanka.

He snared 7-64 to finish as top wicket-taker for the series with 28, a gutsy display from the 38-year-old who had been limping since late on day two after being hit in the groin by a Josh Hazlewood delivery.

His match figures of 13-145 were also the best by a Sri Lankan in Tests against Australia, bettering Muttiah Muralitharan's 2004 feat of 11-212 in Galle.

Herath was named man of the match and man of the series.

"The feeling in the whole dressing room is unbelievable," said Mathews.

"Regardless of them having a bad record in Asia, they're still the No.1 team and, to beat them, it has to be a fantastic effort."

Dilruwan Perera contributed with 2-71, his dismissal of David Warner - who was bowled around his legs without playing a shot - summing up Australia's mental state to the hosts' clever slow bowlers.

Herath and Perera opened the bowling and offspinner Dhananjaya de Silva, who accounted for four overs, was the only other bowler required.

Warner top-scored for Australia with 68 from 94 balls, while Shaun Marsh (23), Mitchell Starc (19) and Lyon (12) were the only others to get into double figures.

- AAP

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