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South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test

South Africa vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test

News

Allrounder gets through 16.5 overs on second day in absence of Kasun Rajitha and Dhananjaya de Silva

Dasun Shanaka batted well with the tail to complete his first Test fifty on the second morning of the Centurion Test, and yet, his more significant contribution so far may have been with the ball. Shanaka is a batting allrounder but was required to deliver almost 17 overs after two Sri Lanka bowlers – a third of their serious bowling resources – were unavailable through injury.

Sri Lanka are unwilling to elaborate on the extent of Kasun Rajitha’s groin injury, believing that hiding that information confers a competitive advantage – however miniscule. But the early signs are that Rajitha, one of Sri Lanka’s three frontline seamers, will bowl no more than the 13 deliveries he bowled in this Test. With Dhananjaya de Silva’s offspin also officially unavailable due to a grade two tear in his thigh, Shanaka may have a heavy bowling workload through the course of this game.

“Kasun Rajitha’s injury is really going to affect us – we all know how well he bowled on the last tour here,” Shanaka said at the end of day two at Centurion. Rajitha, it is worth remembering, took nine wickets at 23.22 on Sri Lanka’s last tour in South Africa. “Dhananjaya de Silva also comes in and bowls when they are batting well, and he dries up the runs for us. He does that job. I think we will feel their absence,” Shanaka said.

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