Australia's bowlers pile on the misery
Some of the jewels may have been removed from Australia's crown, but their replacement gems continue to gleam, polishing off Sri Lanka's batsmen for 246 on a third day of dominance in Hobart. Brett Lee shone again as the leading light, with four wickets, but all the bowlers played their part and after Ricky Ponting chose to bat again he, Matthew Hayden and Phil Jaques belted them to a 407-run lead, with Jaques registering another fifty.
Mahela Jayawardene became the third Sri Lankan of the current squad to score a Test century, a rare bright spot for the visitors, along with Kumar Sangakkara's half-century on return. But overall the pressure was too great as Australia stuck to their task, with nobody shying away from bowling on a good batting surface.
Lee continued to grow into his new role, setting the tone by yorking Michael Vandort and finding Marvan Atapattu's edge. Then came the only meaningful partnership, of captain and vice-captain, with Jayawardene and Sangakkara putting on 71.
Sangakkara had faced only three balls all tour before being parachuted into Hobart and he found he had landed on a rollercoaster, with plenty of false strokes first up, including two chances off Lee.
Michael Hussey wasn't sure whether he'd caught him at gully off Lee on 4, although Adam Gilchrist definitely dropped a thick edge from him on 13. Then he nearly inside-edged off Mitchell Johnson, who continued to find some swing. The ride was smoothing out and Sangakkara was becoming increasingly comfortable when he fell to Johnson, forcing off the back foot.
Unsurprisingly for an attack which has been hunting as a pack, the bowlers shared the wickets around. Stuart MacGill and Stuart Clark both grabbed a pair, while a calamitous mix-up with the runner, which ended Farveez Maharoof's stay at the crease, added to Sri Lanka's woes.
MacGill mixed some good deliveries with bad ones, but his wicket-taking balls were superb. He ripped one back into the out-of-sorts Sanath Jayasuriya (3) just after lunch and then induced Chamara Silva (4) into some false strokes before tempting him to cut right into Adam Gilchrist's hands.
The predictably consistent Clark then nipped in to find Prasanna Jayawardene's edge for a duck, which was just reward for helping build pressure with tight lines. Prasanna returned as Maharoof's runner but then cost him his wicket on 19 with a mix-up with his namesake, as substitute fielder Rhett Lockyear did the honours.
Mahela, meanwhile, maintained his cool. He weathered everything that Australia had to throw at him, and although he was tied down at first, once he freed his arms he played some glorious cover drives and cuts.
He wasn't afraid of playing his shots, but he survived the odd run-out attempt on the way, including one on 14 when a direct hit from Clark would have had him after Sangakkara sent him back to the non-striker's end. His vigil finally ended with a steer to deep square leg, which presented Lee with his fourth wicket after the bowler had also dismissed Dilhara Fernando.
Ponting then decided not to make Sri Lanka follow on for a second time. As his bowlers raced to the nearby sea to cool down, Hayden and Jaques piled on the runs. They played with consummate confidence and rattled up 83 before Muttiah Muralitharan trapped Hayden, who was playing for the offspinner, with the straight one for 33.
Muralitharan moved closer to Shane Warne's record Test wicket milestone, but with Ponting's declaration expected soon he is likely to leave Australia empty-handed. The way his team have been outplayed, they are also heading for a fruitless end to their series with Australia on course to lift the trophy.
Jenny Thompson is an assistant editor at Cricinfo