Lanka eye clean series sweep

Kandy, July 10:

Sri Lanka’s left-handed opening batsman Upul Tharanga has recovered from a fractured left heel and will play in the third and final Test against Bangladesh from Wednesday, as the hosts aim to sweep the series 3-0.

Tharanga suffered the injury while facing teammate Lasith Malinga during a practice session and missed the first two Tests in Colombo.

“Upul is our number one choice for the openers role. So one of the other openers will have to sit out,” Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene said.

Stand-in openers Michael Vandort and Malinda Warnapura have done well in the first two Tests and it will be a tough decision for the selectors to chose who will partner Tharanga.

Veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas returning to play for English county Middlesex has opened a chance for 22-year-old Farveez Maharoof to play in the third Test while the selectors are also considering giving left-arm seam bowler Sujeeva Silva his first match in five years.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, are likely to make two changes to the side that lost the second Test. They are likely to bring in left-arm seamer Syed Rasel to replace Mohammad Sharif, who failed to take a wicket in the previous Test and batsman Tushar Imran may come in for Mehrab Hossain.

Bangladesh are looking to salvage some pride after two disastrous games. They lost the first Test at the Sinhalese Sport Club by an innings and 234 runs and the second game by an innings and 90 runs.

But one positive for the tourists was a record-breaking partnership between captain Mohammad Ashraful and teenage batsman Mushfiqar Rahim. The pair added

191 runs for the sixth wicket, a new Bangladeshi record for any wicket against any country.

“We certainly had a few positives coming out in the last Test. We will try to keep on improving. We know that we can do better,” Ashraful said. “One of the areas that we have to improve on is to show a lot of patience in playing Test cricket,” he added.