Monday, 28 January 2019 06:11

Sri Lanka urged to follow Dickwella lead

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RISBANE, Saturday - A silver lining has emerged on a dark cloud hanging over Sri Lanka after their crushing pink ball Test loss to Australia in Brisbane - livewire wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella.

There appeared to be few positives for captain Dinesh Chandimal to identify after his outclassed side was routed by an innings and 40 runs at the Gabba within three days - especially in their batting line-up.


Yet Chandimal cited Dickwella’s batting heroics as a shining light for the embattled visitors before the second Test in Canberra starting on Friday.

Dickwella backed up from his freewheeling 64 in the first dig to spank four glorious boundaries in his second innings of 24.

Chandimal believed Dickwella had shown the way forward with the bat for the visitors as they look to regroup in the nation’s capital.

Indeed Chandimal was so confident in Dickwella’s presence at No.7 that the skipper was quick to shut down talk of shuffling from first drop to the middle order in a bid to bolster the visitors’ batting in Canberra.

“Dickwella is an experienced player who can play the role the team wants,” Chandimal said.

“I just want to keep batting at No.3 because last year I batted No.5 because sometimes I had to take the wicket-keeping gloves - but now Dickwella is in good shape.”

Despite their keeper’s fireworks, Sri Lanka were still bundled out for 144 and caught short at 9-139 in their second dig in Brisbane after quick Lahiru Kumara could not take the field due to a hamstring complaint.

He has not only been ruled out of the second Test but also next month’s tour of South Africa.

Dickwella looms as a cult hero this summer with his audacious stroke play and lively manner behind the stumps with the wicketkeeping gloves, much in the same vein as Indian revelation Rishabh Pant.

But Chandimal admitted Sri Lanka would need to be more positive with the bat in Canberra like Dickwella if they were avoid a series whitewash in the nation’s capital.

“We are really disappointed as a team. Our batting was below par throughout the game,” he said.

Chameera and Kumara ruled out

Fast bowlers Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara have both been ruled out of Sri Lanka’s second and final Test against Australia through injury.

Kumara’s injury became apparent during the first Test, which Sri Lanka lost by an innings and 40 runs. He didn’t take to the field during the final session of the second day, and scans revealed a right-hamstring tear. He will miss the remainder of the tour as he recovers.

The specifics of Chameera’s injury have not yet been made known, but Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal made clear that replacements would be needed. “Kumara is out for four to six weeks,” he said after the match. “So he’s out of the next game. And Dushmantha is also injured. So we’ll need to get another two quick bowlers.”

The pair joins Angelo Mathews and fellow quick Nuwan Pradeep on the treatment table, both of whom, like Kumara, have hamstring injuries.

The other pace options in the squad are Kasun Rajitha and Vishwa Fernando.

The second Test begins on 1 February, and will be the first-ever played at the Manuka Oval in Canberra.

(Daily News)

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