SRI LANKA CRICKET NEWS (DECEMBER 2019) – Compiled by Victor Melder

Victor Meldor

Pakistan will be hosting Test cricket for the first time in more than ten years, that too against a full-strength Sri Lanka line-up, in December 2019. Dimuth Karunaratne will lead the Sri Lanka side, with experienced batsmen Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal present in the 16-member squad. The team leaves for Pakistan on December 8 to play two Test matches that will count towards the World Test Championship. Less than three months ago, Sri Lanka had toured Pakistan for a series of limited-overs matches, but as many as ten high-profile players had opted against travelling. The Test series was originally scheduled for October at a neutral venue because of security concerns, but the PCB requested Sri Lanka to play the entire bilateral series in Pakistan. The white-ball games were played as a test of sorts for the security measures taken by the hosts, and following the success of that tour, Sri Lanka agreed to play the Tests in Pakistan too. There was only one change to the Sri Lanka squad that played the second Test against New Zealand at home in August. Kasun Rajitha, the right-arm fast bowler, replaced leg spinner Akila Dananjaya, who is currently serving a one-year suspension for an illegal action. The first Test will start on December 11 in Rawalpindi, followed by the second in Karachi from December 19. Pakistan has not hosted a Test match since the 2009 Lahore attack that wounded several Sri Lankan cricketers, support staff members and others. Of the current players, fast bowler Suranga Lakmal was part of Sri Lanka’s squad back then as well. (ESPN cricinfo)

The Sri Lanka Test Squad for the Pakistan tour: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Oshada Fernando, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Suranga Lakmal, Kusal Mendis, Diiruwan Perera, Lahiru Kumara, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Vishwa Fernando, Kusal Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Rajitha and Niroshan Dickwella.

The first Test between the touring Sri Lankans and Pakistan, played at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawapindia, ended in a draw, with rain affecting play. Scores:

Sri Lanka – 1st Innings – 308/6dec (de Silva 102no, Karunaratne 59, B.O.P Fernando 40, Dickwella 33, Mathews 31, Afridi 2/58, Shah

                                          2/92, Shinwari 1/54, Abbas 1/72

Pakistan – 1st Innings – 252/2  Abid.Ali 109no,Azam 102 no, Azhar Ali 36,  Rajitha 1/5, Kumara 1/46)

Player of the Match: Abid Ali (Pakistan)

Test debut: Abid Ali & Usman Shinwari (Pakistan)

Pakistan defeated the touring Sri Lankans by 263 runs to win the second and final test played at Karachi National Stadium, Karachi. Scores:

Pakistan – 1st Innings – 191 (Shafiq 63, Azam 60, Abid Ali 38, Kumara 4/49, Embuldeniya 4/71Fernando 2/31)

Sri Lanka – 1st Innings – 271 (Chandimal 74, Perera 48, de Silva 32, Karunaratne 25,  Afridi 5/77, Abbas 4/55, Sohail 1/11)

Pakistan – 2nd Innings – 555/3 dec (Abid Ali 174, Masood 135, Azar Ali 118, Azam 100no, Kumara 2/139, Embuldeniya 1/193)

Sri Lanka – 2nd Innings – 212 (Fernando 102, Dickwella 65, N. Shah 5/31, Y. Shah 2/84, Sohail 1/10, Abbas 1/33, Afridi 1/51)

Player of the match: Abid Ali (Pakistan)

Player of the series: Abid Ali (Pakistan)

Leading all-rounder Thisara Perera has joined Sri Lanka Army. Thisara has enlisted to the Gajaba Regiment and holds the rank of Brevet Major. He will be playing domestic cricket for Army this season. “General Shavendra Silva invited me to join Army. I have enormous respect for General Shavendra and it was a request that I could not turn down,” Thisara tsaid. Army has been investing a lot to improve their cricket and become a force in the domestic season. Before the ongoing season got underway, Army recruited former Test captain Dinesh Chandimal. Thisara is unlikely to feature in the upcoming three match T-20 series in India. Instead, he will be in Bangladesh playing in the BPL. Army has been nurturing quite a few cricketers over the years. Ajantha Mendis and Seekkuge Prasanna made quite an impact for the soldiers before going onto represent Sri Lanka. Mendis was the hero as Sri Lanka won the Asia Cup in 2008 in Karachi as his mystery spin humbled India’s famous batting line-up. (Daily Island, 3.12.2019)

 

 




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