Injured Dilshan doubtful for ODI series

The ball sneaks through Tillakaratne Dilshan's helmet grill as he top-edges a sweep AFP

Sri Lankan batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan is doubtful for the five-match ODI series against Pakistan after fracturing his right index finger and having several stitches above his left eye on the second day at the SSC.

Dilshan, who has been keeping wicket in the series in Prasanna Jayawardene's absence, suffered the finger injury when he caught Khurram Manzoor off Chaminda Vaas for 93. The team manager Brendon Kuruppu confirmed that Dilshan had suffered a fracture.

However, Dilshan continued to keep for the rest of the day, as the injury wasn't feared to be very serious. But Kumar Sangakkara took over the gloves during Pakistan's second innings as there was swelling around the injury. Dilshan did not take the field when Pakistan resumed their first innings today.

Dilshan was dropped down the batting order, to give him enough time to recover, but the steady fall of wickets during the second day meant that he had to come out and bat. Dilshan walked in at the fall of the sixth wicket and scored a courageous 44, but during that knock, he was hit above his left eyebrow when a top edge off the spinner Saeed Ajmal squeezed through his visor.

"We are monitoring Dilshan's progress carefully," Kuruppu said. "He is bound to have some swelling around his eye by tomorrow after the stitches had been inserted. Our medical team will assess his condition before taking a final decision on his fitness.

"At the moment he is doubtful for the first few one-dayers. He will bat in the second innings only if it is really necessary."

Dilshan was thrust into the wicketkeeper's role after Jayawardene was ruled out of the first Test with a finger injury. Dilshan retained his position as wicketkeeper for the rest of the series despite Jayawardene being available for selection as the selectors did not want to upset the balance of the team.

Sri Lanka have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.