Sri Lanka’s injured Mathews ruled out of Bangladesh tour

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Sri Lanka's injured Mathews ruled out of Bangladesh tour
Shukriya Pakistan

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s limited-overs skipper Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of the rest of the Bangladesh tour due to a hamstring injury, the country’s cricket board said Tuesday.

Mathews, who sustained the injury during the tri-nation ODI tournament that Sri Lanka won in Bangladesh last month, will miss the second and final Test against the hosts as well as the two subsequent T20 matches.

Mathews, 30, was recently named as Sri Lanka’s captain in the shorter format until the 2019 World Cup.

But he has been beset by injuries and now faces a race against time to be fit for a T20 tri-nation tournament at home involving Bangladesh and India.

The tri-series will be played at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium from March 8.

Mathews has suffered “a right hamstring tightness (and) will not take part in the two T20 matches”, Sri Lanka Cricket said in a statement.

“His participation in the Nidahas Trophy 2018 will be decided after an assessment of his medical conditions.”

Thisara Perera is likely to stand in as captain for the two T20 games in Bangladesh on February 15 and 18.

Mathews’ absence from the deciding Test starting Thursday is unlikely to trouble Sri Lankan plans given their dominant batting performance in the drawn first game in Chittagong.

Sri Lanka’s top-order fired in their only innings, with three of their batsmen hitting centuries including a fine 196 by Kusal Mendis to post a mammoth 713-9 declared.

Bangladesh have already indicated a change in strategy for the deciding game after adding strength to their batting by bringing in Sabbir Rahman.

Veteran left-arm spinner Abdur Razzaq is also expected to make the starting XI in Dhaka.

Bangladesh have been a dominant side at home after registering memorable Test wins against England and Australia in the 2016-17 season.

Their only Test win against Sri Lanka came in their landmark 100th Test in Colombo, when the visitors drew the two-match series 1-1.

Former captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored 92 in the first Test in Chittagong, said the team had “every chance to win the series 1-0”.

“In the last Test, bowlers did not get the purchase from the wicket, that’s why they could not be effective,” the senior batsman said Tuesday.

“Hopefully the Mirpur wicket will be different. I have full faith in our bowling department. We have good memories here as we beat both England and Australia in Dhaka, so obviously the team will be confident.”

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