Wade's thrilling ton heralds Australia declaration
Wicketkeeper Wade opened up in a last-wicket stand of 39 with Jackson Bird to grab his second Test century and gave skipper Michael Clarke the opportunity to declare his team's innings at 432 for nine in the half hour before lunch.
The Sri Lankans made a steady start to their second innings and had wiped 18 runs off the deficit, with Dimuth Karunaratne on 17 and Tillakaratne Dilshan yet to score.
Wade scampered towards his teammates in the Sydney Cricket Ground Members Stand and excitedly kissed his helmet after crashing Suranga Lakmal for a boundary to raise his century off 158 balls, after setting out on the third day on 47.
He was dropped by Dhammika Prasad at fine leg two balls later going for another big heave before skipper Clarke called a halt with the declaration.
Wade, who scored 106 against the West Indies in his third Test match in Dominica last
April, faced 158 balls and hit nine fours for his first home Test ton.
Bird provided staunch support to give Wade his chance to go after the century. Wade was on 70 when the fast bowler came to the crease. Bird remained six not out.
Only last week Bird left Mitchell Johnson stranded on 92 in the Australian first innings in the second Melbourne Test when he was the last man dismissed.
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath finished Sri Lanka's leading wicket-taker with four for 95 off 31 overs.
Australia lost the wickets of Peter Siddle (38), Mitchell Starc (2) and Nathan Lyon (4) on the third morning, but the tourists were unable to prevent a rush of late runs as Wade went all out after his century.
Scoreboard on the third day of the third and final Test between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground today:
Sri Lanka 1st Innings 294
Australia 1st Innings (overnight 342 for 6)
D. Warner c Prasad b Dilshan 85
E. Cowan run out (Pradeep) 4
P. Hughes c Chandimal b Herath 87
M. Clarke c Karunaratne b Herath 50
M. Hussey run out (Karunaratne) 25
M. Wade not out 102
M. Johnson c Chandimal b Pradeep 13
P. Siddle c Chandimal b Pradeep 38
M. Starc lbw b Herath 2
N. Lyon b Herath 4
J. Bird not out 6
Extras (lb6, w7, nb3) 16
Total (9 wkts declared; 107 overs) 432
Fall of wickets: 1-36, 2-166, 3-195, 4-251, 5-271, 6-307, 7-384, 8-387, 9-393.
Bowling: Lakmal 24-4-95-0, Pradeep 20-1-114-2, Prasad 11-0-53-0, Mathews 2-0-11-0, Dilshan 19-2-58-1, Herath 31-3-95-4.