SL vs Eng: Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis to miss second Test

SL vs Eng: Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Tuesday announced that five players including Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis have been released from the national squad and as a result, they would not be playing the second Test against England.

Karunaratne has been released due to injury while four others — Kusal Mendis, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Kumara, and Nuwan Pradeep have been dropped looking at their performances. “The released players will return to training at the High-Performance Center in Colombo. Whilst in the absence of Dimuth Karunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal will continue to captain the team in the 2nd test match, as well,” Sri Lanka Cricket said in an official statement.

Sri Lanka had lost the first Test against England by seven wickets and both sides will now lock horns in the second Test, beginning Friday.

After stumbling to a seven-wicket loss against England in the first Test, Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur said that the batting performance of his side in the first innings was very poor and it was a major reason that the hosts were on the back foot from the get-go.
In the first innings, Sri Lanka was dismissed for 135, and after this dismal batting show, the hosts conceded 421, and this handed the Joe Root-led England side a hefty lead.

“The first innings was very poor, it was an unacceptable batting performance. I’m not one to ever look for excuses, but it was like we were batting at the Wanderers and Centurion in terms of tempo. We hadn’t changed our tempo to bat in the subcontinent, coming back and batting in Sri Lanka, where it’s all about patience, trusting your technique, wearing the opposition down, and grinding away,” ESPNCricinfo had quoted Arthur as saying.

In the second innings, Sri Lanka recovered to register 359 runs as Lahiru Thirimanne went on to register a century. But the hosts managed to gain a lead of 73 runs, and in the end, England had no problem in chasing down this below-par total in the fourth innings. (ANI)