Malinga closing on return

The 31-year-old paceman, who spearheads the Sri Lanka attack, is recovering well from the operation that ruled him out of the one-day series against India and England.

He should be available for the later stages of Sri Lanka???s one-day international series against New Zealand next month, ahead of the World Cup.

“Malinga is still recovering from surgery and everything is going well according to plan,” said Sri Lanka coach Marvan Atapattu. “He will return for the last two ODI games in New Zealand.”

Malinga, who has taken 271 wickets in 177 ODIs, has been named in Sri Lanka’s provisional 30-man squad for the World Cup.

Sri Lanka will play seven one-dayers in New Zealand from January 11-29 before two more warm-up matches against South Africa and Zimbabwe ahead of the World Cup, which starts on February 14.

There will be two Tests against New Zealand before the one-day series and Sri Lanka have drawn their two-day warm-up match against a New Zealand Chairman’s XI in Queenstown.

Lahiru Thirmanne made 50 in Sri Lanka’s first innings of 173-9 declared and, after the home team had been dismissed for 125, the tourists declared on 261-8 in their second innings, led by Niroshan Dickwella (63no) and Dimuth Karunaratne who retired on 52.

Captain Angelo Mathews was out for a duck in the first innings before making 19 the second time around, while Kumar Sangakkara made one and 29.