Sri Lanka on Friday suffered a big blow when in-form opener Tillakaratne Dilshan was ruled out of the opening Test against New Zealand at Galle after failing to recover from a back injury.

Dilshan, who also missed the last two matches of the recent one-day series against the tourists, was replaced by uncapped opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne, 24.

“Probably he (Dilshan) can manage while batting but on-the-field movements are still giving him problems, I guess,” Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene said at a press conference on the eve of the Test.

“We assessed him on Wednesday and he wasn’t 100 per cent (fit). We have a week to see whether he could be fit for the next Test (in Colombo).”

Dilshan smashed an unbeaten 102 in Sri Lanka’s seven-wicket victory in the third one-dayer of the five-match series, won 3-0 by the host. The two matches were abandoned owing to rain. He has so far scored 5,028 runs in 81 Tests with 14 hundreds and 21 half-centuries. — AFP

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