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Injury halts Sri Lankan showdown

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Adelaide Strikers face Sangakkara without Jayawardena

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A LEG injury will force Adelaide Strikers star Mahela Jayawardena to miss his side’s long-awaited clash with Kumar Sangakkara’s Hobart Hurricanes on Wednesday.

Star Sri Lankan batsman Jayawardena has been playing for the South Australian team in the Big Bash League for the past month and was named man-of-the-match in his side’s win over Brisbane Heat on Friday.

Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara, who like Jayawardena retired from international cricket in 2015, is playing for the Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL.

The clash between the long-time Sri Lankan teammates and good friends had been billed as a major highlight of the six-week tournament with Sri Lankan fans promising to be out in force at Adelaide Oval to support the two legends of the game.

Between them, Jayawardena and Sangakkara represented Sri Lanka in international matches more than 1200 times, scoring a total of 117 centuries.

The quadriceps strain came just as Jayawardena was hitting top form for the Strikers.

He batted on through the injury to post 53 from 30 balls against the Heat including 5 fours and 3 sixes. The innings followed a similar effort at the top of the order against the Perth Scorchers on January 5 when Jayawardena hit 7 fours and 2 sixes on his way to 57 from 37 balls in the home side’s win at Adelaide Oval.

Adelaide Strikers physiotherapist John Porter said he expected Jayawardena to return for the semi-finals after assessing the injury earlier today.

“Clinically the signs are actually quite promising. He was able to commence some light rehab today and he’s keen to start batting as soon as possible,” said Porter.

“We’re certainly building our timeframe for a return to play towards that semi-final and anything sooner than that is probably going to be a bonus.

”The Strikers have won five of their six matches to date and are all but assured a semi-final berth in the 8-team competition.

The franchise expects Jayawardena to miss the Hurricanes match and the last regular season fixture against Chris Gayle’s Melbourne Renegades but hope he will be fit for the Strikers’ semi-final clash.

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