Colombo - Australian skipper Ricky Ponting paid tribute to man of the match Darren Lehmann and man of the series Shane Warne after his team whitewashed Sri Lanka 3-0 on Sunday in the final test of the series.

Warne was unable to break Courtney Walsh's 519 wicket world record, finishing on 517, but his 26 scalps in his first series since a 12-month drugs ban were crucial to Australia's success.

The 34-year-old toiled wicketless for the first two sessions but ripped through Sri Lanka's lower order with four wickets in the evening to set up a win with eight balls to spare.

"When a game is up for grabs there is probably no one in the world you would rather have on your side with the ball in his hand," Ponting told reporters.

"He did not have a lot of luck in this game, although he probably bowled as well as he did in the other two, but it was good that he got the results at the end of the day."

Lehmann also had a prolific series, scoring two centuries, including a mammoth 153 in the first innings in Colombo, and also chipped in with vital wickets in the last game.