Lahiru Thirimanne and skipper Mahela Jayawardene missed centuries as injury-hit Sri Lanka slumped to 294 all out after a strong start to the third Sydney Test against Australia today.
Thirimanne, who only arrived in Australia this week to cover for the injured Kumar Sangakkara, threw away a chance of a first Test hundred.
Jayawardene scored his first away Test 50 in more than three years but was caught at slip on 72. The tourists, demoralised after last week's innings and 201-run defeat in Melbourne to lose the series, showed greater resolve in the dead-rubber final Test as they chased their first ever Test win Down Under at the 13th attempt.
They were all out shortly before stumps on the opening day with paceman Jackson Bird taking four for 41 off 19.4 overs.
Thirimanne reached his highest Test score after he was given out leg before wicket to Bird for no score before the dismissal was overturned on review.
Thirimanne also had a life on 65 when put down by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade off spinner Nathan Lyon, but with a century in sight off 151 balls, he tossed away his wicket on 91.
His flashing miscue off Lyon was brilliantly caught by David Warner diving full length at cover point.
Thirimanne trudged from the wicket shaking his head as he watched his dismissal on the large screen. Jayawardene earlier steadied the tourists after the loss of both openers before lunch.
The last time Jayawardene had passed 50 in an away Test was way back in November 2009 in India, although he has continued to score heavily at home. He went 26 innings outside Sri Lanka without a half-century.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 294 (M Jayawardene 72, L Thirimanne 91, Bird 4-41, Starc 3-71) vs Australia
NZ fightback but face defeat
Cape Town: Brendon McCullum and Dean Brownlie hit half-centuries as New Zealand fought back on the second day of the first Test against South Africa at Newlands on Thursday.
New Zealand were 169 for four in their second innings at the close, still 133 short of avoiding an innings defeat. McCullum made 51 and Brownlie was undefeated on 69.
They were still likely to lose the match but it was a much better showing by the tourists after a calamitous first day during which they were bowled out for 45 and then leaked runs at almost four an over.
New Zealand's bowlers and fielders set the tone with an improved performance, restricting South Africa to 97 runs and claiming five wickets in 31.2 overs before South Africa declared at 347 for eight, a lead of 302.
Brief scores: New Zealand 45 and 169/4 (B McCullum 51, D Brownlie 69 batting) vs South Africa 347/8 decl (A Peterson 106, AB de Villiers 67, C Martin 3/63)