Australia ended day two of the third Test against Sri Lanka holding a lead of 48 runs, after starting their innings with the first ball of the day and reaching 342 for six in Sydney.

Matthew Wade was unbeaten on 47 at the end of the day and he, alongside Peter Siddle, made sure the hosts overtook the Sri Lankans' first innings score of 294 as the Aussies lost regular wickets throughout the day.

Opener Ed Cowan was the only member of the top order to fail on the day, as he was out with the score on 36, run out by Nuwan Pradeep for four. David Warner and Phil Hughes then put on 130 together.

Warner played a typical knock in terms of strike rate, reaching his 85 in 84 deliveries, and striking 10 boundaries. Hughes was more cautious, and made his 87 in 143 balls, departing soon after Warner as he was caught behind off Rangana Herath.

The spinner also accounted for Aussie skipper Michael Clarke, who started 2013 as he ended the previous year, by making a decent score. While it was not a double century, his 50 off 75 deliveries, added to Michael Hussey's 25, saw the score climb to 271 by the time they both departed.

The final wicket to fall on the day was that of Mitchell Johnson, promoted up the order to seven after his recent batting heroics. The fast bowler made a patient 13 before being caught behind off Pradeep with the score on 301.

This left Siddle and Wade to hold on until the end of the day, while making sure a lead was established. It wasn't easy going for the batsmen, as Wade needed 108 balls to make his 47, and there were only three boundaries in that score.

With the game evenly poised at the SCG, Sri Lanka will be hoping to at least get a draw and avoid a whitewash on what has been a difficult tour. The deck has proved helpful to the bowlers, so a quick start on day three could well see a positive result on the horizon for the visitors.