x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Fit Sangakkara looks likely to play

The Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara should be fit for the first Test against Bangladesh, according to the captain Mahela Jayawardene.

DHAKA // The Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara should be fit for the first Test against Bangladesh starting today, according to the captain Mahela Jayawardene. Sangakkara has been struggling with a cut on his right foot ahead of the opening match of the two-Test series, a problem which ruled him out of the tour match against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI which concluded yesterday.

Jayawardene nevertheless expects to welcome back Sangakkara, who has a superb record against Bangladesh having scored 707 runs in Test matches against them. "He is healing quickly and looks OK now," Jayawardene said. "Hopefully he will be ready before the first Test starts." If passed fit, Sangakkara will again reprise his role as a specialist batsman after handing over the wicketkeeping gloves in Test matches to Prasanna Jayawardene in 2006. Sangakkara's average is 83.05 in the 28 Tests he has played as a specialist batsman.

Captain Jayawardene added that he believes Sri Lanka will be able to cope with the loss of injured spinner Ajantha Mendis, who has been ruled out with an ankle injury and replaced by Rangana Herath. "Ajantha is not here and yes, it's a different combination but whoever is going to replace him will do the job," Jayawardene said. * PA Sport