Sri Lanka in South Africa 2011-12 December 19, 2011

Alvitigala gets Sri Lanka call-up

ESPNcricinfo staff

Seam bowler Nuwan Kulasekara won't be joining Sri Lanka's Test squad in South Africa and instead the uncapped Kanishka Alvitigala will fly out along with Dhammika Prasad ahead of the second Test in Durban.

Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lanka captain, had said that both Prasad and Kulasekara would be added to the touring party to bolster the pace-bowling options following Nuwan Pradeep's injury, but the sports ministry hadn't approved the selections and instead the nod has gone to Alvitigala. Kulasekara is likely to arrive for the one-day series next month.

Alvitigala, 25, has taken 51 first-class wickets at 32.35 in 25 matches with a career-best of 5 for 34 and has previously represented Sri Lanka A including on the tour to England earlier this year.

Sri Lanka's pace-bowling options have been stretched to breaking point in recent months with a string of injuries to contend with. Before the tour of South Africa four seamers, including Prasad and Kulasekara, were ruled out with injury and Sri Lanka lost Pradeep after he broke down during the warm-up match in Benoni.

Sri Lanka were crushed by an innings and 81 runs in the opening Test at Centurion and although the pace attack was able to cause South Africa some problems they couldn't sustain pressure. Chanaka Welegedara, the left-armer, took 3 for 96 and Thisara Perera claimed 3 for 114 but Dilhara Fernando, the most senior bowler, only managed 1 for 128 in 28 overs.