Super Lanka block Australia

Resolute Sri Lankan batting and bad weather frustrated Australia's bid for a series-clinching win as the second Test ended in a draw in Pallekele yesterday.

Oh lord!: Aussie captain Michael Clarke reacts after rain delayed the

Just 35.3 overs were bowled on the final day, in which Sri Lanka moved from their overnight score of 223-2 to 317-6 in the second innings, an overall lead of 80 with four wickets in hand.

Three half-centuries led a determined batting display by the hosts, who had faced defeat after being shot out for 174 in their first knock.

Seamer Ryan Harris finished with 3-54 as the tourists chipped away at the Sri Lankan middle order, but rain did not leave enough time for Michael Clarke's men to force the result that would have given them the series.

Angelo Mathews was unbeaten on 11 and Suraj Randiv was on four when play was halted midway through the post-lunch session. The match was finally called off two hours before the scheduled close.

Australia lead the three-match series 1-0 after their 125-run win in the first Test in Galle, with the final Test starting at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) in Colombo on Friday.

"It was a disappointing end," said Clarke, who is leading Australia for the first time in a full Test series. "We lost almost 100 overs in the match and that was frustrating for both teams."If we had a full day's play, we had a very good chance to win. I was really happy with the way we bowled today.

"I am told it is raining in Colombo too. It will be a shame if the weather affects the game because this series has been played really well." Sri Lankan captain Tillakaratne Dilshan said he was delighted at his team's batting in the second essay.

"We finally batted well after three bad innings in the series and that gives us a lot of confidence going into the final Test," Dilshan said.

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