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Dual injury blow for Lanka ahead of Australia clash

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  7 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Sydney, March 6: Sri Lanka will be forced to make at least two changes for Sunday's crunch cricket World Cup clash with Australia here, with veteran spinner Ranga Herath ruled out and batsman Dimuth Karuratne being sidelined for the rest of the tourment.

The 36-year-old, left-armer Herath has been ruled out after splitting the webbing between his spin fingers in the side's last win over England, reports

Officials are hoping Herath will return before the knockout phase of the tourment, with Sri Lanka scheduled to play their quarter-fil here.

However, young batsman Karuratne will miss the rest of the World Cup after fracturing his little finger during Thursday's training session.

"He has to undergo surgery and will be out for about four weeks. He will return home," Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors and former captain Sath Jayasuriya said.

The Intertiol Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday approved all-rounder Seekuge Prasan as a replacement for the injured Karuratne.

Prasan, on the other hand, has played 22 One-Day Intertiols (ODI) in which he has scored 181 runs and taken 21 wickets. His last appearance for Sri Lanka was earlier this year when he played against New Zealand in Wellington.

Sri Lanka, placed in Pool A, have played four matches, winning three. Prasan had been flown over as cover for Herath. ICC rules stipulate any injury-enforced changes in a squad are permanent.

As such, Prasan would only have played against Michael Clarke's men if Herath was ruled out of the tourment. Karuratne's injury has seemingly solved that issue, ensuring Sri Lanka will field a frontline spinner for Sunday's game.

It leaves the squad short a batsman, with Jayasuriya revealing Kusal Perera will travel to Sydney as a "precautiory measure".

The loser of the weekend's fixture at the SCG will almost certainly finish third in Pool A.

That would come with the challenge of a likely quarter-fil against South Africa, then a potential semi-fil against New Zealand in Auckland. IANS

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