Lasith Embuldeniya, the Sri Lanka left-arm spinner, has been ruled out for up to six weeks, after dislocating his finger on the first day of the Port Elizabeth Test.
Embuldeniya left the field on Thursday, 21 February, with his left thumb covered in blood after attempting a return catch off Kagiso Rabada in his sixth over. The extent of the injury was so severe that he was scheduled for surgery the same evening.
It is not yet clear whether he will be available to take the field during the match again, but reports suggest he will not be able to bowl.
Sri Lanka produced another strong bowling display, but South Africa struck three times before stumps to ensure they ended the first day of the second Test on even terms.#SAvSL REPORT 👇https://t.co/4fA40lb8O6 pic.twitter.com/oELsY04x9z— ICC (@ICC) February 21, 2019
Given that he’s Sri Lanka’s only specialist spinner in the XI, the visitors will have to do some tweaking. One of Sri Lanka’s part-time bowlers – Dhananjaya de Silva, most likely – is expected to pitch in.
Sri Lanka, having won the first Test in Durban, have a great chance to win their first-ever series in South Africa, but Embuldeniya’s injury is a severe blow to those hopes.
The 22-year-old played a big role in Sri Lanka’s victory in Durban, claiming a five-wicket-haul on debut in the second innings.
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