Dickwella cleared to play remainder of series after injury scare

Rex Clementine in Dambulla

Sri Lanka’s wicketkeeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella has been cleared to play the remainder of the bilateral series against South Africa after he was forced to withdraw from the field during the second ODI in Dambulla which the hosts lost by four wickets on Wednesday.

Dickwella during his knock of 69 was hit on the ribs by all-rounder Willem Mulder, called the next Jacques Kallis in some quarters. The 25-year-old continued to bat and even came out to do wicket keeping duties, but half-way through retreated to the dressing room as Kusal Janith Perera took over.

"After getting hit I continued playing. After I got out I thought I was ok. Then I went into the field and while I was keeping wickets I felt the discomfort. I couldn’t give hundred percent, so I informed the captain that I should leave the field. Then I went and got an x-ray and it’s fine. No fracture - nothing. There are three more days before the next game - I think I should be able to play," Dickwella told journalists.

Sri Lanka are facing another humiliating series defeat as their bad patch in white ball cricket continues. Wednesday’s loss was Sri Lanka’s tenth straight defeat to the Proteas in ODIs and seventh in a row in Dambulla.

"Our batting didn’t do well. We’ve got six batsmen, and when three batsmen don’t score runs it’s really difficult to put a big score on the board. It was a better wicket at night as well. We don’t give excuses, we find solutions. I think we should do our basics right first. We should put a good total on the board first and then try to defend," explained Dickwella.

Dickwella had gone through 16 innings without a half-century and on Wednesday he batted with assurance after seeing off the threat from Lungi Ngidi and Kagiso Rabada. His 69 came off 78 deliveries with ten boundaries.

"I was working with the Batting Coach Thilan Samaraweera and Head Coach Chandika Hathurusingha. I did some changes in my batting and I was worried about those things. We had one-to-one meetings, and I said I’m going to play like how I used to play, and not think about my technique. I’m going to work my techniques in the nets. That’s what I did when I went to the middle today. It worked out for me.

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