Third Test against Pak Vaas' final match?

Updated: 18 July 2009 09:39 IST

Rampant Sri Lanka go into the final Test against Pakistan from Monday aiming for a 3-0 sweep despite the uncertain future of veteran Chaminda Vaas.

Third Test against Pak Vaas' final match?

Colombo:

Rampant Sri Lanka go into the final Test against Pakistan here from Monday aiming for a 3-0 sweep despite the uncertain future of veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas.

Vaas, 35, was named in a 16-man squad for the third Test at the Sinhalese sports club after being overlooked for the first two matches which Sri Lanka won to take a winning 2-0 lead in the series.

The Daily Mirror newspaper reported on Saturday that the Sri Lankan selectors and administrators picked the left-arm seamer to give him the opportunity to use the match as a farewell Test.

It had already been suggested in media reports earlier that the 110-Test veteran was being eased out of the five-day game and would only play one-day and Twenty20 cricket.

However, Sri Lanka's chief selector Asantha de Mel rubbished speculation that a deal had been struck with Vaas which could see him bow out of Test cricket after the match.

"We did not have any deals or understandings," de Mel was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror. "We did not even speak to him. We just picked him into the squad. We have to wait and see if he gets the chance to play when the final 11 is named before the match."

It is unlikely Vaas, who has 354 Test wickets since his debut in 1994, will be asked to sit out after being named in the 16, but it remains to be seen who he will replace from the winning combination.

One option before the selectors is to make Vaas the fourth seamer alongside Nuwan Kulasekera, Thilan Thushara and Angelo Mathews on a wicket that has taken a lot of rain over the past three days.

That would leave out right-arm spinner Ajantha Mathews, who has been unimpressive so far in the series with just five wickets in four innings.

Sri Lanka won the first Test before lunch on the fourth day and took the second inside three days despite the absence of world bowling record holder Muttiah Muralitharan due to a knee injury.

Muralitharan, 37, who has 770 Test wickets, will again miss out despite having recovered from the injury as the selectors prefer to rest him ahead of a busy season.

Sri Lanka play five one-dayers against Pakistan after the Test, followed by two Tests against New Zealand in August and a tri-series with the Kiwis and India in September.

Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene, who stood down in March to concentrate on his batting, said his successor Kumar Sangakkara deserved credit for outclassing Pakistan in the series.

"Winning the series was a fantastic achievement and a great effort from all the guys in the team," Jayawardene was quoted as saying by Cricinfo.

"The thing with captaincy is that you need to make bold decisions and you need to think out of the box. Sangakkara has been doing that."

Sri Lanka have not touched the 300-run mark in four innings so far but the bowlers have made amends to win the team their first home Test series against Pakistan.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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