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 half-century in more than three years but was caught at slip on 72.
“I’m really disappointed because this was a great opportunity for me after a long break from Tests, but I feel I batted really well so at the end of the day I am happy with my performance,” Thirimanne said.
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 fifty.
It was a more confident Jayawardene than seen in the Hobart and Melbourne Test defeats and he faced 110 balls in 154 minutes before he was snapped up by Michael Clarke at slip off Starc in the 43rd over.
Players and fans observed a minute’s silence in honour of Tony Greig, who died at the weekend aged 66 from a heart attack while battling lung