Lasith Malinga returns to captain Sri Lanka, while Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Oshada Fernando have retained their places in the Twenty20 International squad for the series in Australia.

Malinga was among a host of players who opted out of the recent tour of Pakistan, which Sri Lanka ended with a historic 3-0 whitewash of the top-ranked T20 side in the world.

Dasun Shanaka skippered an inexperienced team in Malinga's absence, but the paceman is set to resume leadership duties in a three-match series that starts at Adelaide Oval on October 27.

Batsmen Rajapaksa and Oshada are also among the 16 players selected after making their debuts in Pakistan.

Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera and Niroshan Dickwella are among the other names to come back into the squad.

 

Sri Lanka squad:

Lasith Malinga (captain), Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana, Kasun Rajitha.

Ten Sri Lanka players have decided to withdraw from the forthcoming tour of Pakistan amid security concerns.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) held a meeting with the squad on Monday at which the chief security advisor outlined the risks, with all players afforded the freedom to choose if they would travel. 

It was following that meeting that a number of players, including the likes of Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga and Dimuth Karunaratne, opted against featuring in the three ODIs and three Twenty20s scheduled across September and October.

The Sri Lanka team bus came under attack from gunmen in Lahore while touring Pakistan in 2009.

Confirming the news of the withdrawals, and SLC statement read: "Former Sri Lanka Air Force Commander, Marshal Air Roshan Goonetileke, who is the Chief Security Advisor of the SLC, briefed the players about the security situation in Pakistan and the security arrangements PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board] plans on implementing during Sri Lanka team’s tour of that country, whilst Chairman of the National Selection Panel Mr Asantha De Mel, explained about the selection policy for future tours.

"He said players will be given the freedom to decide on either taking part or not in the forthcoming Pakistan tour.

"Accordingly, the following players chose to stay away from the upcoming Pakistan series – Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne."

Kusal Mendis has also been ruled out by an injury suffered in the series with New Zealand.

Tom Latham believes setting Sri Lanka in excess of 200 will give New Zealand a great chance of winning the first Test after BJ Watling dug in on an eventful day three in Galle.

Lasith Embuldeniya (4-71) claimed two early wickets as Sri Lanka reduced the Black Caps to 25-3 after Niroshan Dickwella (61) and Suranga Lakmal (40) got them up to 267 all out - securing a first-innings lead of 18.

Watling (63 not out) and Latham (45) made key runs as the spinners piled on the pressure with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor falling cheaply. 

The tourists were leading by 177 on 195-7 when stumps were called due to bad light on Friday and Latham thinks Sri Lanka could be up against it if Watling and the tail can hang around on day four.

"I think anything above 200, we are not too far off from that," the opening batsman said.

"The important thing for us is to come back tomorrow morning and put up those partnerships like we did today. Like Tim Southee (23), Will Somerville can help us build a partnership with BJ, who has been outstanding today.

"Hopefully we can stitch that total to make as many as possible. We know how tough it can be in the fourth innings to chase down a score.

"It's a surface where when you get in, you can score, but sometimes things happen quickly in this part of the world. This wicket is no different.

"Through the three innings we have seen wickets lost in a hurry. Hopefully we can put pressure on the Sri Lankans and the wicket keeps deteriorating and the spinners will come into play."

Dickwella is confident Sri Lanka can pull off a successful run chase if they wrap up New Zealand's second innings before too long.

"The wicket is turning but it is slow turn. Slower than what we usually get in Galle. Even if we get a target of 225 or so, I think we can chase it down." said the wicketkeeper-batsman.

"Batting fourth will be tough on this wicket, no doubt, but we have a decent batting line-up. Those chasing stats are what teams have done in past.

"We're a different team and this is a different opposition. We have to play according the situation. Our batters will do the job, I feel."

A battling unbeaten half-century from BJ Watling frustrated Sri Lanka and gave New Zealand a lead of 177 at stumps on day three of the first Test in Galle.

Watling fought it out on a turning pitch and the wicketkeeper-batsman was still there on 63 when bad light brought an end to play late in the day, with the Black Caps 195-7 in their second innings.

Sri Lanka were dismissed for 267 in the morning session to take a first-innings advantage of 18, Niroshan Dickwella top-scoring by reaching 61 on Friday.

Lasith Embuldeniya, who finished the day with 4-71, struck twice to put New Zealand in all sorts of early trouble on 25-3, but Watling led the recovery and Tom Latham made 45 to leave the match nicely poised.

Sri Lanka added 40 runs in the morning after resuming on 227-7, Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal (40) extending their eighth-wicket stand to 81 before William Somerville (3-83) and Trent Boult (2-45) wrapped up the innings.

Jeet Raval fell tamely chipping Dhananjaya de Silva (2-16) to Dimuth Karunaratne in the covers and Lahiru Thirimanne took a brilliant skier running back from mid-on when Kane Williamson (4) tried to hit Embuldeniya over the top.

Ross Taylor gave his wicket away too easily, charging down the track and getting nowhere near the pitch of the ball, edging Embuldeniya to De Silva at first slip for three.

Latham and Henry Nicholls steadied the innings, with opener Latham launching Embuldeniya over midwicket for six.

Akila Dananjaya ended a stand of 57 by removing Latham, and the wicket of Nicholls soon followed. The impressive Embuldeniya then reduced New Zealand to 124-6 by dismissing Mitchell Santner on the stroke of tea, but Tim Southee was dropped twice as Sri Lanka allowed the lead to grow.

Watling played with great conviction under pressure, bringing up a resilient 17th Test fifty before Embuldeniya had Southee (22) stumped, ending a seventh-wicket partnership of 54.

The composed Watling struck Lahiru Kumara for back-to-back boundaries and Somerville hung in there prior to play ending under gloomy skies.

New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel claimed a second Test five-for but Niroshan Dickwella and Suranga Lakmal came to Sri Lanka's rescue as 12 wickets fell on day two of the first Test in Galle.

The excellent Akila Dananjaya (5-80) and Lakmal (4-29) wasted no time in dismissing the tourists for 249 in the morning session after they had resumed on 203-5, Ross Taylor failing to add to his overnight score of 86.

Half-centuries from Kusal Mendis (53) and Angelo Mathews (50) put Sri Lanka in a promising position, but Patel (5-76) generated sharp turn as Dimuth Karunaratne's side collapsed to 161-7 losing five wickets for 18 runs.

Dickwella (39 not out) and Lakmal (28 not out) ensured the first of two Tests was finally poised at stumps, though, seeing Sri Lanka through to 227-7 - a deficit of just 22 runs.

Taylor fell off the first ball he faced on the second day edging Lakmal behind with a loose stroke, and the paceman struck again by trapping Mitchell Santner leg before.

Tim Southee came down the track to dispatch Dhananjaya de Silva over the ropes, but was run out later in the over.

Trent Boult - who had the ball lodged in his helmet after attempting a sweep - added a useful 18 before Lakmal polished off the tail as the tourists lost their last five wickets for 44 runs.

Lahiru Thirimanne gifted the Black Caps a breakthrough when he was stumped giving Patel the charge in his first over and Karunaratne could have followed in the next over from William Somerville, but Taylor put him down at first slip.

Sri Lanka took lunch on 34-1 and Karunaratne (39) looked in good touch until he was snared lbw by the probing Patel with 66 on the board.

Kusal and Matthews played positively against the spinners, hitting Somerville and Santner respectively for six as they put on 79 for the third wicket.

A lapse in concentration cost Kusal on the stroke of tea, though, the right-hander wafting at a flighted delivery from Patel immediately after reaching his half-century and offering Taylor a simple slip catch.

That sparked a collapse, with Boult getting rid of Kusal Perera and De Silva also failing before Patel secured his fifth wicket by getting one to turn away from Mathews, who edged to Taylor at slip.

Somerville sent Dananjaya on his way for a duck as the procession of wickets continued, but Dickwella and Lakmal provided much-needed resistance with an unbroken stand of 66 to give Sri Lanka a great chance of taking a first-innings lead.

Sri Lanka have recalled Niroshan Dickwella for the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh.

A surprise omission from Sri Lanka's Cricket World Cup squad, wicketkeeper-batsman Dickwella is one of 22 players selected for the 50-over fixtures on home soil.

Akila Dananjaya, Danushka Gunathilaka and Lakshan Sandakan also return, while Nuwan Pradeep - who returned home early from England due to chickenpox - is fit enough to be included.

However, Suranga Lakmal and Jeevan Mendis are left out after featuring at the tournament, along with Milinda Siriwardana and Jeffrey Vandersay.

Colombo is the venue for the trio of fixtures, which start on July 26. The teams meet again just two days later before concluding the short series on July 31.

Lasith Malinga is also set to feature. The paceman said in March he plans to retire from cricket after next year's T20 World Cup in Australia.

 

Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dhananjaya, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lahiru Madushanka

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