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Major blow for Sri Lanka as Maheesh Theekshana out of Asia Cup final

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Sri Lanka spinner Maheesh Theekshana has been ruled out of the Asia Cup 2023 final against India due to an injury, captain Dasun Shanaka confirmed Saturday.

Theekshana, 23, hurt his hamstring during their Super Four win over Pakistan to make the Sunday final of the 50-over tournament, a prelude to the next month’s ODI World Cup in India.

“He won’t be able to take part in this game since he got a Grade 3 injury, but he will be there for the World Cup,” Shanaka told reporters on the eve of the title clash in Colombo.

Maheesh Theekshana claimed eight wickets in five matches to lend support to a youthful bowling attack alongside pacer Matheesha Pathirana and fellow spinner Dunith Wellalage.

“Maheesh Theekshana, who strained his right hamstring during the game against Pakistan, will not be available for the finals,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) stated.

“A scan was done and confirmed the muscle injury.

“Sri Lanka Cricket Selectors have brought in Sahan Arachchige into the squad in place of Theekshana.

“Theekshana will return to the High Performance Center to commence rehabilitation work.”

Sri Lanka, who cohosted the tournament with Pakistan, came in as underdogs but have made their 11th Asia Cup final and a have chance to clinch their seventh title.

The island nation snuck into the Super Fours with a dramatic win over Afghanistan and have kept up their momentum despite losing to India in the Asia Cup 2023 Super Fours.

“The boys really want to deliver for the country,” said Shanaka.

“As a team we have been underdogs, so everyone wants to perform on the bigger stage. These youngsters, they need to show the world what they are capable of.”

READ: Naseem Shah likely to miss ICC Men’s World Cup – report

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