Eranga replaces injured Mathews

Sri Lanka’s fast—bowling all—rounder Shaminda Eranga was on Wednesday named as replacement for Angelo Mathews, who had been ruled out of the ongoing Asia Cup cricket tournament due to a calf injury.

Sri Lanka Cricket’s chairman of selectors, Ashantha de Mel, said that Eranga was picked as the team needed to bolster its pace attack, especially with Lasith Malinga uncertain.

“Lasith Malinga is nursing a groin strain and he was left out of the first match against India,” De Mel said.

The all—rounder was originally named in Sri Lanka’s Test squad to play Pakistan in the UAE last year, but had to withdraw with a shoulder injury to his right arm.

“He will most probably play in tomorrow’s game against Pakistan. We thought Eranga, who has recovered from his shoulder injury, would be useful because he can bat as well,” he added.

Eranga, who returned impressive figures of four for 65 in his Test debut against Australia at the SSC last year, has a first—class hundred and four half—centuries in 41 matches.

A calf injury had ruled out Mathews, dealing a blow to Sri Lanka’s chances in the four—nation tournament.

Mathews had missed the finals of the recently—concluded Commonwealth Bank series in Australia due to the same problem.

“The last couple of days Angelo has had some fitness tests, he hasn’t pulled through those well, so we made a call to send him back home,” Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said.

“He will try to get ready for the Test matches (against England) that starts in about ten days’ time.”

With another all—rounder, Thisara Perera, also missing due to a back injury, Tillakaratne Dilshan had to bowl his quota of ten overs in the opening game against India yesterday.

Such was their plight in the opening game that Sri Lanka had to turn to Chamara Kapugedera, who has taken just two wickets in his 90—match ODI career.

The team is yet to confirm injured pace spearhead Malinga’s availability for tomorrow’s match against Pakistan.

“Malinga played through injury in the final two matches of the CB series, so we decided to give him a break yesterday (against India).

“Yesterday he bowled a bit, he will be bowling today as well, and after his bowling session we will take a call on him tomorrow,” Jayawardene said after a training session. (PTI)