Upul Tharanga and Lasith Malinga likely candidates for first ODI

By S.R. Pathiravithana

There is a likelihood of injured paceman Lasith Malinga and openining batsman Upul Tharanga who will be coming out of his three month drug ban on Tuesday, being featured in Sri Lankas opening one-day international against Australia at the Pallekelle Stadium on Wednesday.

Malinga missed the first T-20 which was played yesterday and will also miss the second T-20 on Monday due to back injury. However the bowler was back at the nets on Saturday and was seen bowling at full steam. After the workout out he said “I feel that I am fit and ready for the five ODIs that are coming up. If I am playing I will play in all the games if I am picked, and I am ready for it. If not I will only blocking the opportunity of another bowler”.

It is also reported that Sri Lanka opener who was tested positive on using Prednisolone – a banned drug during the Cricket World Cup 2011 is also in the reckoning for Wednesday’s game. The ICC found him guilty of the offence, but, taking into consideration about the circumstances that led him to the incident gave him a lenient sentence of a three month ban which will come to an end on August 9.

Tharanga one of the success stories of the 2011 World Cup scored 395 runs in nine innings at an average of 56.42 and scored two centuries and a half century. He was also a partner of the huge Sri Lanka opening stand of 282 runs against Zimbabwe at Pallekelle.

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