Sri Lanka succumbed to a convincing 87-run defeat against South Africa in the warm-up fixture ahead of the 2019 World Cup at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. The Lankans are being considered as dark horses and are being captained by Dimuth Karunaratne, who made his comeback in ODI cricket during the match against Scotland. Meanwhile, his team has been faced with an injury concern.
Avishka Fernando, their top-order batsmen, suffered an apparent ankle injury while fielding in the practice match. In the 18th over of the South African innings, Faf du Plessis crashed a good length delivery to the cover region where Fernando tumbled and the batsman picked up a single. The 21-year-old Avishka seemed to have slipped and landed awkwardly on his side.
A huge injury scare for Sri Lanka
The physiotherapist was called upon and Avishka was treated. Even after the treatment, Fernando strained to walk and later, he had to be carried off on a stretcher. Sri Lanka is scheduled to play their first match of the main round against New Zealand on June 1 and the Lankans would be trying their best to get Avishka fit for the crunch games of the tournament.
Fernando has been opening the batting for his national team for quite a while now and just three days ago, the right-handed batsman scored 74 off 78 deliveries against Scotland in Edinburgh and looked all set to weave his magic, but things don’t look good for him at least for the time being. His knock versus the Scotts was laced with five boundaries and three sixes.
As far as the warm-ups are concerned, Lankans will next lock horns with Australia on May 27 at the Kennington Oval in London. Sri Lanka hasn’t won a whole lot of games coming into the World Cup, and quite expectantly, they aren’t being placed amongst the favourites.
Fernando has played six ODIs thus far in which he has scored 145 runs at an average of 24.16 and a strike-rate of 92.35. His fifty versus Scotland was his first in the 50-overs format. Furthermore, Avishka has taken part in three T20Is against South Africa as well, scoring only 17 runs.