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Australia have set Sri Lanka the challenging target of 379 for victory in the opening Test in Galle.

Resuming on day three after a two-hour rain delay, Australia added 95 to their overnight score of 6-115 to be dismissed for 210 in their second innings.

Sri Lanka will have to beat the highest fourth innings total (210) and highest successful fourth-innings chase score (96) at Galle to claim an unlikely win on a bowler-friendly pitch.

Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath (5-79) led the way for the Sri Lankans with the ball while Michael Clarke's 60, made on Thursday, was the highest score for Australia.

Mitchell Johnson (8) was the first to go on Friday when he top-edged a sweep off Herath for wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene to easily claim the catch.

Usman Khawaja (26) and Ryan Harris (23) then put on 40 runs for the eighth wicket in a valuable stand before Khawaja was trapped LBW by Chanaka Welegedara, who had figures of 3.1 overs, three maidens, two wickets for no runs at that stage.

Harris' cameo came to an end when he offered Herath a simple caught and bowled for the Sri Lankan left-arm spinner to claim his fifth Test match five-wicket haul.

Debutants Trent Copeland (23no) and Nathan Lyon (13) put on 32 in quick time for the last wicket before Lyon was caught trying to loft Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan down the ground.

Earlier, play was delayed by two hours after heavy overnight and morning rain left the ground under covers well past the scheduled 10am (1430AEST) start.

The pitch also appeared to suffer some water damage despite the heavy covers over the entire ground, with groundstaff at one point using a handheld hair-drier on affected portions of the wicket to dry them.

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