Sri Lanka spinner Maheesh Theekshana ruled out of second Pakistan Test

Galle, July 21 (IANS) Sri Lanka spinner Maheesh Theekshana on Thursday was ruled out of the second Test against Pakistan, starting here on July 24, owing to a finger injury on his right hand.

Theekshana, who returned with figures of 2/68 and 0/44 in the first Test against Pakistan, has been released from the squad. The 21-year-old has so far played two Test matches for Sri Lanka, scalping five wickets. He will be replaced in the squad by 22-year-old off-break bowler Lakshitha Manasinghe.

Manasinghe is yet to make his debut for Sri Lanka, but has an impressive record in first-class cricket. He has picked up 73 wickets in 17 matches. He is also a handy contributor with the bat, scoring 582 runs in those games.

In Theekshana’s absence, Sri Lanka could also hand a Test debut to young all-rounder Dunith Wellalage, who impressed one and all at the 2022 ICC Men’s U19 World Cup.

“Pathum Nissanka will be rejoining the team. Maheesh Theekshana was released from the squad owing to an injury the player sustained on one of his fingers (right hand). In place of Theekshana, Lakshitha Manasinghe comes into the squad,” the Sri Lanka Cricket said in a tweet.

The hosts will also be bolstered by the return of Pathum Nissanka to the squad. Nissanka who has played 9 Tests, scoring 537 runs, with one century and five fifties, was ruled out midway during the second Test against Australia, after testing positive for COVID-19. He was also unable to take part in the first Test against Pakistan in Galle.

The series would be of vital importance for Sri Lanka, in terms of crucial World Test Championship points. After their four wicket loss in the first Test, they slipped to the sixth position in the table, with a points percentage of 48.15. Pakistan, on the other hand, moved up to the No.3 spot, with a points percentage of 58.33.




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