SL v PAK – 2nd Test – Galle

Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi has been ruled out of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Galle that begins on Sunday. The PCB said in a statement that Afridi suffered a knee injury during the fourth day of the first Test that Pakistan won by four wickets.

Afridi had played a key role in Sri Lanka’s first innings in the opening Test, taking 4 for 58 in 14.1 overs to bowl the hosts out for 222. But he bowled just seven overs in Sri Lanka’s second innings that lasted for 100 overs, and left the field after appearing to be in discomfort on day four. He will, however, stay back with the Pakistan contingent in Sri Lanka till the end of the Tests “where his initial rehabilitation and management will continue under the supervision of the team’s medical staff.”

Afridi’s absence opens the door for one of fast bowler Haris Rauf or bowling allrounder Faheem Ashraf to make the XI for the second Test, if Pakistan opt for another seamer despite Galle providing spin-friendly conditions. Afridi’s injury also delays his bid to become the 11th Pakistan seam bowler to take 100 Test wickets. He is currently on 99 scalps in the format.

Pakistan’s next commitment is a three-match ODI series in the Netherlands starting August 16, after which the Asia Cup T20 competition is scheduled to be held later that month. It is still unclear whether Afridi’s injury is serious enough to put his participation for those games in jeopardy.

Sri Lanka have injury concerns of their own too ahead of the final Test of the series, that is also part of the World Test Championship. On Thursday, it was learnt that offspinner Maheesh Theekshana was ruled out of the second Test with a finger injury.

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