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Murali out, Fernando heads home

cricket Updated: Dec 16, 2009 23:11 IST
Nilankur Das
Nilankur Das
Hindustan Times
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Sri Lanka’s hopes of clinching the one-day series after losing the Test and squaring the T20 series, suffered a setback when Muttiah Muralitharan and medium-pacer Dilhara Fernando were sent home with finger injuries.

The visitors are hoping fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who missed the first ODI due to fever, recovers to play here.

As backup for Murali, Sri Lanka have recalled off-spinners Muthumudalige Pushpakumara (28), who played in the first T20 match here, and rookie Suraj Randiv (24).

Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal (22), called in as replacement for Fernando, is due to join here on Thursday morning, team manager Brendon Kuruppu told HT. Both Randiv and Lakmal were part of the Test squad during the tour of Pakistan which ended after their team bus came under fire in Lahore on March 3 this year.

Murali was injured during the Mumbai Test but played in the T20s and the first ODI in Rajkot on Tuesday. Fernando got injured while fielding in Rajkot.

“Murali and Fernando have left for Chennai on the way back home,” Kuruppu said. “He is recovering fast, but we decided to give him some time so that he can be fresh for our future series,” he added. Sri Lanka are due to play a tri-series in Bangladesh also featuring India next in January.

India too have their worries with Yuvraj Singh recovering from a finger injury that kept him out of the first match. Even Virender Sehwag hurt his left knee while fielding in Rajkot but the camp was hopeful he would recover before Friday’s match.

Meanwhile, India’s mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton did not accompany the squad here from Rajkot.

He has fever but tested negative for swine flu.