Pathum Nissanka recalled to Sri Lanka squad to face Pakistan

Sri Lanka has recalled opening batter Pathum Nissanka to their Test squad which will face Pakistan in the two-match test series starting from Sunday (16).

Nissanka, who has played just three Tests for Sri Lanka, last featured in the format last year against Australia at home.

The 28-year-old has found a spot in the squad after having missed the country’s last two red-ball assignments.

Nissanka had a decent outing in the recently concluded World Cup qualifiers, where he smashed a couple of hundreds in Sri Lanka’s successful campaign.

Other notable inclusions are Praveen Jayawickrama, Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka and Lakshitha Manasinghe.

Surprisingly spinner Lasith Embuldeniya, who didn’t get a game against Ireland recently at home, has been handed the axe. The likes of Asitha Fernando, Dushan Hemantha and Milan Priyanath Rathnayake have also been dropped from the squad that hammered Ireland 2-0 in the series in April.

Meanwhile, skipper Dimuth Karunaratne is likely to miss the first Test against Pakistan (though he is named in the squad) due to a hamstring injury. He will undergo fitness tests in Colombo over the next 48 hours, and if found unfit, will not travel to Galle for the match, which begins on 16 July.

If Karunaratne is unavailable, the team is likely to be led by vice-captain Dhananjaya de Silva.

Dimuth picked up the injury during the recently concluded World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe.

On the conclusion of the first Test, the two teams will travel to Colombo for the second Test at the SSC from 24 to 28 July.

Squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Nishan Madushka, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Matthews, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Pathum Nissanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kamindu Mendis, Ramesh Mendis, Prabath Jayasuriya, Praveen Jayawickrama, Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka, Vishwa Fernando, Lakshitha Manasinghe

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