Lakmal returns to Sri Lanka squad for Zimbabwe Tests

Suranga Lakmal, who missed Sri Lanka’s Test tour of Pakistan owing to a bout of dengue, has regained fitness to be included in their squad for a two-Test series in Zimbabwe.

Despite the series defeat against Pakistan in December, after a 263-run loss to the hosts in Karachi, the selectors chose to persist with much of the same squad, led by Dimuth Karunaratne, to make the trip to Zimbabwe.

Asitha Fernando, who had replaced Lakmal in the squad in Pakistan but remained on the bench, was left out, as was wicket-keeper batsman Kusal Perera, the star in South Africa last year on their previous trip to the African continent.

Sri Lanka are set to play two Tests in Zimbabwe, from 19 January and 27 January, at the Harare Sports Club.

They were last in the country for a red-ball game in 2016-17, when they won the two-match series. The most recent Test between the sides was a thriller in Colombo in 2017, when Sri Lanka overcame a small first-innings deficit to chase a target of 388 – the highest successful chase in Asia.

Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Oshada Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya De Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya, Lahiru Kumara, Vishwa Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal

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