Sri Lanka not resting on their laurels

Dimuth Karunaratne 20631865Sri Lanka are taking nothing for granted and have added batsman Dimuth Karunaratne to their squad for the second and final Test with Pakistan (Sri Lanka 7/4, Pakistan 5/1, draw 8/11 Match Prices).

The islanders will head into the contest, which starts on Thursday, with a 1-0 lead in the series, courtesy of a crushing seven-wicket win in Galle last time out.

While the likes of Kumar Sangakkara, who made 221, skipper Angelo Mathews with 91 and Mahele Jayawardene, who scored 59 in his penultimate Test, all looked at the top of their game, opener Upul Tharanga made little contribution with the bat and is under pressure for his place (Jayawardene 7/2 Top Sri Lanka Batsman 1st Inns).

The left-hander made scores of just 19 and 12 in the first five-day clash and the 29-year-old has contributed only one half-century in his last six Test innings.

The selectors have taken note and 26-year-old Karunaratne has been drafted in as a possible replacement for the Colombo encounter with Misbah-ul-Haq’s men.

He is seen as a possible long-term fixture in the side, with Jayawardene retiring after this week’s game and Kumar Sangakkara now closer to 40 than 30, and the selectors may give him the nod to add to his eight Test appearances to date.

Teenage fast bowler Binura Fernando has also been drafted into the squad for injured duo Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal, as the hosts look to nail down their second Test series success in the past few months, having taken care of England 1-0 earlier this summer.

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