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Pathum Nissanka ruled out as Sri Lanka’s COVID outbreak grows again during Test series with Australia

Sri Lanka’s COVID outbreak has grown to six after opening batter Pathum Nissanka became the latest player to test positive to the virus.

Nissanka was on Monday ruled out of the final two days of the second Test against Australia, after both rapid and PCR tests detected the virus.

He has been replaced by Oshada Fernando, the same man who took Angelo Mathews’ spot last week when the Sri Lankan veteran was the first to go down.

The hosts had already lost Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeffrey Vandersay, and Asitha Fernando from their team due to the virus before the start of the Test.

Reserve spinner Praveen Jayawickrama also tested positive last week, while Mathews has since returned to the team after exiting isolation.

Sri Lanka opted against testing the entire squad on match eve, and in-match conditions state players are only checked if they feel unwell.

Despite their predicament, Sri Lanka have managed to claim the upper hand in the second Test after being thumped by 10 wickets in the series opener.

Drafted in as a result of the COVID cases, Prabath Jayasuriya took six wickets in the first innings while fellow debutant Kamindu Mendis scored a half-century.

Australia have so far avoided any cases on the tour, testing daily outside of matches and whenever they leave the the team hotel.

They also made a point to keep their distance from Sri Lanka players while staying in the same Galle hotel.

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