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Dinesh Chandimal ‘hopes to give it everything’ to revive career

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Having received a lifeline due to Dickwella’s suspension, he hopes to make the opportunities count

Dinesh Chandimal has had an unusual Test career. He has 11 Test hundreds, which in this side is equal to Angelo Mathews’ tally, and fewer only than Dimuth Karunaratne’s 13, and yet he had been left out of the XI in the previous series against Bangladesh.

He is one of only two Sri Lanka batters (the other being Mathews) to average over 40, but has not had his place nailed down in the side over the past three years. There was a stint as captain, which was abruptly cut short; historic issues with the bouncer, which saw him axed not just from the XI but from the squad altogether, before being summarily dispatched to a Sri Lanka A tour. Then there were lean spells that have seen selectors ask him to go rediscover form at the domestic level.

That he is even in Sri Lanka’s XI now, is largely down to the fact that Niroshan Dickwella (Sri Lanka’s regular Test wicketkeeper), is serving a one-year suspension for breaking Covid protocols. Where he had been a top-order batter, Chandimal has the gloves again, and is coming in lower down.

“I started in Tests as a wicketkeeper, batting around No. 5 and 6. After about 2015, when our senior batters retired, I had the chance to come up the order and bat at No. 4,” he said. “It’s not easy to bat No. 4 and keep wickets, so I didn’t have the gloves. But now I’ve got the chance again to bat lower down and keep wickets. I’m hoping to give it everything.”

It’s possible that batting slightly lower down the order suits Chandimal anyway. He was good with the bat from No. 6 in the first Test, producing an important 45 in the first innings, and a 10 not out off eight balls as Sri Lanka were batting for the declaration in the second. Overall, he averages 47.96 and No. 5, 42.92 at No. 6, and just a touch under 40 at No. 7 – his three best positions by average. Nine of his 11 tons have come from No. 5 or No. 6.

“Since I’m the keeper, I’ll only get to bat at No. 6 or 7. For now I’m at six. It’s hard to bat higher than that, because sometimes you have to keep 100 or 120 overs, and given the weather in Sri Lanka, you need a break. It is its own challenge, because there’s only one more batter after me. But my job is to figure out how to bat with that last batter, and how to get the most out of the partnerships with the bowlers.”

His wicketkeeping was also largely excellent – on a difficult surface – in the first Test, which is particularly impressive when you consider that he had not been designated wicketkeeper in Tests since January 2017. But keeping in limited overs formats has helped keep him sharp, Chandimal said.

“In the local matches I’ve been playing as a wicketkeeper, and even during the World Cup, I did keep,” he said. “I kept my wicketkeeping training going, thinking that I would get an opportunity that way.”

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf



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Brandon King has his sights on 2022 T20 World Cup

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The batter’s immediate aim is to top the scoring charts in the coming T20Is against England at home



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WI vs Eng, 2022 – Jason Roy returns to action with 36-ball hundred ahead of West Indies T20Is

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England signalled his fitness by smashing 115 off 47 in a warm-up match ahead of the T20I series against West Indies

England 231 for 4 (Roy 115, Vince 40*) beat Barbados Cricket Association President’s XI 137 for 11 (Springer 36, Mills 3-25) by 94 runs

Jason Roy marked his return to fitness by hitting a 36-ball hundred – and 115 off 47 overall – in England’s warm-up match against a BCA President’s XI at Kensington Oval.
Roy has not played any cricket since tearing his left calf muscle during England’s final Super 12s game of the T20 World Cup against South Africa in November when he collapsed in pain after running a single and was carried off the pitch.

But his onslaught, which contained nine fours and ten sixes, signalled his fitness ahead of the five-match T20I series that starts on Saturday and will be staged in Barbados in its entirety.



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Recent Match Report – ENG Women vs AUS Women 1st T20I 2021/22

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Meg Lanning said while her side had undergone some enforced changes, she was confident in their make-up

Toss Australia chose to bowl vs England

Australia opted to field in the first T20I against England in Adelaide, the opening match of the 2022 Women’s Ashes.

Grace Harris has been recalled to cover for Mooney’s absence and is listed in the middle order, while legspinner Alana King will make her debut for the home side, who are without the injured Georgia Wareham and Sophie Molineux.
Maia Bouchier will play just her third T20I for England after she impressed during the warm-ups. Part of England’s senior Ashes squad, she top-scored with 27 for England A in the second T20 warm-up, both of which were won by the A side.

Lanning, the Australia captain, said while her side had undergone some enforced changes, she was confident in their make-up.

“It’s a belter of a wicket, it always is at Adelaide Oval,” Lanning told the host broadcaster. “We feel like we’ve got a different look but hopefully we’ve got all bases covered.”

Heather Knight said she would have also opted to bowl, had she won the toss.

Making up the multi-format series, three T20Is in Adelaide will be followed by a Test in Canberra, then three ODIs – the first in Canberra and two in Melbourne. Two points will be awarded for victory in each of the limited-overs matches, with the Test worth four points for the win.

Australia: 1 Alyssa Healy (wk), 2 Meg Lanning (capt), 3 Tahlia McGrath, 4 Rachael Haynes, 5 Ashleigh Gardner, 6 Grace Harris, 7 Nicola Carey, 8 Jess Jonassen, 9 Alana King, 10 Tayla Vlaeminck, 11 Megan Schutt

England: 1 Tammy Beaumont, 2 Danni Wyatt, 3 Heather Knight (capt), 4 Nat Sciver, 5 Amy Jones, 6 Sophia Dunkley, 7 Maia Bouchier, 8 Katherine Brunt, 9 Sophie Ecclestone, 10 Sarah Glenn, 11 Freya Davies

Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo



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