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July 20, 2008
Sri Lankan fast bowler Dilhara Fernando's return to Test cricket suffered a setback when he complained of knee pain and was unable to take the field during India's second innings on the third and final day of the practice game at the NCC on Sunday.
Fernando, who last played a Test in December, against England, was in discomfort during his six-over first spell on Saturday. Chandika Hathurusingha, the Sri Lanka Board XI coach, said after his initial complaint, Fernando returned to bowl two short spells of four overs with his leg strapped.
"Dilhara has a niggling knee injury which he picked up in his first spell of the first innings," Hathurusingha said. "We didn't want to risk him in the second innings. He's coming out of a long lay-off."
Fernando's injury comes a day before the national selectors meet to pick the squad for the first Test against India starting at the SSC on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka are already without two other fast bowlers due to injuries, Lasith Malinga (knee) and Farveez Maharoof (side strain) and will be hard pressed to find a suitable partner for Chaminda Vaas. In their last Test series in the Caribbean, Thilan Thushara and Ishara Amerasinghe supported Vaas.
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