June 24, 2019
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    Injured Chameera, Kumara to return home; Chamika Karunaratne named replacement

    January 29, 2019


    Sri Lanka's fast-bowling reserves on the Australia tour have been dealt another serious blow with Dushmantha Chameera being ruled out of the second Test due to an injury to his left ankle. Chameera, who suffered the injury during the first Test in Brisbane, will return home along with fast bowler Lahiru Kumara, who had recently been ruled out of the second Test and the South Africa tour due to a hamstring injury.

    Sri Lanka's selectors have picked 22-year-old pace-bowler Chamika Karunaratne as Kumara's replacement. SLC, in a press release, said Karunaratne would join the team in due course.

    Chameera is the third Sri Lanka quick to be injured on the tour, after Nuwan Pradeep and Kumara were both ruled out due to hamstring injuries. Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal had confirmed last week that Chameera was injured while bowling in the first Test at the Gabba - Chameera bowled 21 overs and took one wicket for 68 runs - but the nature and extent of the injury were not known at the time. Chameera, who made his debut in 2015, has struggled with injuries through the course of his career and had only recently made his Test comeback in New Zealand, after a gap of two years.

    Unlike with Kumara, however, it is hoped that Chameera can recover in time to take part in the South Africa series next month. Kumara is almost certainly out of the South Africa series, with captain Dinesh Chandimal having said his recovery would take "four to six weeks".

    If Sri Lanka play with three frontline seamers again, in Canberra, they are likely to go in with Kasun Rajitha and left-armer Vishwa Fernando. Rajitha has been with the squad since the start of the tour of New Zealand, and had played the first Test at the Basin Reserve. Fernando had been drafted in after Kumara's injury was confirmed last week.

    Karunaratne, who made his first-class debut in 2015, has played 29 matches in the format, and taken 59 wickets at an average of 34.16. His recent successes include a four-four in the semi-final of the ACC Emerging Teams Cup in December and an unbeaten 100 from No. 8 that helped Sri Lanka A avert an innings defeat against Ireland A earlier this month.

    The second Test will begin on Friday in Canberra.
    Lahiru Kumara ruled out of Canberra Test, South Africa tour
    Sri Lanka fast bowler Lahiru Kumara has been ruled out of the second Test against Australia in Canberra and the South Africa tour next month, with a hamstring injury. Kumara had sustained the injury on day two of the first Test in Brisbane, and had been off the field for the entire third session, as Sri Lanka sought to bowl Australia out. He did not come out to bat on day three, with Sri Lanka going on to lose by an innings and 40 runs.

    "Kumara is out for four to six weeks. So he's out of the next game," Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal confirmed after the loss.

    The first Test against South Africa starts in two and a half weeks, on February 13, in Durban, effectively ruling Kumara out.

    Kumara is the second Sri Lanka quick to pick up a hamstring injury on this tour, after Nuwan Pradeep was also ruled out last week. He is the third Sri Lanka player overall to leave the team with a hamstring complaint during their ongoing southern hemisphere tours, with Angelo Mathews having sustained a hamstring strain during the second Test against New Zealand.

    The news is a serious blow to Sri Lanka's chances in the next Test, and the consequences of this injury may also be keenly felt in South Africa. Kumara is the fastest bowler in Sri Lanka's pace battery, and had been among their most penetrative bowlers in the recent Tests against New Zealand. He had been especially impressive on Sri Lanka's 2016-17 tour of South Africa, where he took 11 wickets at an average of 26.45.

    To compound troubles, Chandimal also revealed that another quick, Dushmantha Chameera, who took 1 for 68 at the Gabba, had been added to the growing injury list, although the nature or the extent of his injury is not known.

    "Dushmantha is also injured. So we'll need to get another two quick bowlers," Chandimal said.

    However, no replacement has yet been named for Kumara or Chameera, with Kasun Rajitha almost certain to play in the second Test. Left-armer Vishwa Fernando is also with the team, having replaced Pradeep in the past few days.

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