Pallekele: Australia have declared their first innings on their overnight score of 411 for seven at the start of the fourth day`s play of the second Test against Sri Lanka after Mike Hussey and debutant Shaun Marsh hit centuries to help the tourists to secure a 237-run first innings lead.
Sri Lanka were 83/1 at lunch, trailing Australia by 154 runs.
Australia captain Michael Clarke made the declaration possibly concerned that weather could be decisive in their campaign to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series. More than two sessions were lost to rain on day three.
Hussey scored 142 and Marsh made 141 as the pair added 258 runs, the best fourth wicket stand in tests between the two nations. They reached their centuries three deliveries apart on Saturday.
Hussey faced 244 balls and hit 16 boundaries while Marsh spent seven hours at the crease, faced 315 balls and hit 18 boundaries.
Sri Lanka after toiling for five hours without a wicket did come back taking four wickets for 18 runs including two successive wickets by off spinner Suraj Randiv in the brief second session before rain stopped play Saturday.
Randiv had the best bowling figures of 3-103 while seamer Suranga Lakmal returned 2-102.
Sri Lanka were dismissed cheaply for 174 runs in their first innings.