Rangana Herath, the 38-year-old left arm spinner, has guided Sri Lanka to an unprecendented series whitewash over the mighty Australians. Match figures of 13-125 bowled Sri Lanka to an emphatic 163 run victory in Colombo.Herath ended the series as top wicket-taker with 28 wickets at 12.65 and his reputation as the best spinner in the world further reinforced. Herath, his country'ssecond most successful spin bowler, guided an inexperienced team to unforeseen victory in the Warne-Muralitharan trophy.

Australia fall apart against spin

After the series was sealed in Galle, Australia looked well placed for a morale boosting victory after the first four days in Colombo.

However, after Angelo Matthews declared setting Australia 324 to win, Australia capitulated once again to spin in just 47.1 overs.

Australia briefly threatened to pull off an upset after a 77 run opening partnership between Warner and Shaun Marsh. However, after Marsh and captain Steve Smith fell in quick succession with the score on 100-2, Australia disintegrated losing their last eight wickets for just 60 runs.Herath, ably supported by Dilruwan Perera, ran through the rest of the Australian batting line up in quick time. Only Warner resisted, with a flashy 68, while next top score was 23 from No. 9 Mitchell Starc.

Sri Lanka's achievement not to be underestimated

Sri Lanka’s achievement must not be overlooked.

After a demoralising tour of England that ended without a victory, the Sri Lankan Cricket Board (SLC) forced the ICC to present the mace (given to the top ranked Test team) in secret to Australia – so as not to dispirit their team any further.

Theyresponded in the perfect fashion. Using their inexperience to their advantage, Sri Lanka’s youngsters played without fear to great success.

Dhananjuya de Silva, Lakshan Sandakan and Kusal Mendis still in their first forays into International Cricket turned the series in theirfavour.

Australia lose top spot

Australia, having dropped from 1 to 3 in the Test rankings, are left with no shortage of head scratching. An important tour of India is on the horizon, however without having reached an effective response to spin bowling in Asia, another whitewash must be beckoning.

Australia entered the series as top dogs but now have left as shadows of themselves. Sri Lanka rightly have cause for celebration and optimism for the future.