Sri Lanka began the fourth day on 7-225 in its second innings with a lead of just 87 but fought hard on Sunday morning to at least give Australia a run chase that will be awkward at 141.
Wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Chandimal could very well be booking himself in for a permanent spot in the Sri Lankan side.
He took the place of the injured Prasanna Jayawardene for the Third Test in Sydney, and after doing an outstanding job with the gloves in Australia's first innings, he was the main reason why the tourists were able to set the home side 141 to win in the fourth innings of the match.
The 23-year-old is playing just his fifth Test and started the fourth day on 22, and received some solid support from the bowlers to end up 62 not out with Sri Lanka eventually being bowled out for 278.
It was Chandimal's fourth Test half-century and he fell just short of his highest score of 65. He received good support from Dhammika Prasad (15), Rangana Herath (10) and Nuwan Pradeep (9) as well to help Sri Lanka at least have something to bowl out as they hunt for a first Test win in Australia.
Jackson Bird finished with 3-76 for Australia and Mitchell Johnson 3-34 with Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon picking up a wicket apiece.
The Sri Lankan bowlers then made the perfect start to that quest picking up Australian opener Warner for a golden duck when he was caught by captain Mahela Jayawardene off Suranga Lakmal.
Off-spinner Tillakaratne Dilshan was bowling at the other end and causing some trouble, including an appeal for LBW with Phil Hughes that they decided to send upstairs, but it wasn’t close and the Sri Lankans wasted a review but were applying good pressure.
At lunch on the fourth day, Australia is 1-13 with Ed Cowan on one and Hughes 12 with the home side needing a further 128 runs for a 3-0 clean sweep of the season.