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Angelo Matthews out with COVID-19, replaced by Oshada Fernando

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Sri Lanka‘s hopes of securing a win in the first Test against Australia have been dealt a major blow with star all-rounder Angelo Mathews ruled out of the remainder of the match with COVID-19.

Mathews was feeling unwell following the end of day two and returned a positive Rapid Antigen Test, according to a Sri Lanka Cricket statement. He has been replaced in the Sri Lankan line-up by Oshada Fernando.

“Angelo Mathews tested positive for COVID-19,” the statement said.

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“He was found to be positive during a Rapid Anti-Gen test conducted on the player, yesterday. The test was done, as the player was feeling unwell. Accordingly, he has been isolated from the rest of the team members and is following COVID-19 protocols.”

Mathews’ absence left a gaping hole in Sri Lanka’s batting line-up, with the home side beginning its second innings 109 runs behind Australia’s first-innings score of 321.

Fernando played a few bright strokes but ultimately was dismissed for just 12 off the bowling of Mitchell Swepson early on day three.

The rest of Sri Lanka’s team is yet to be tested since Mathews’ positive test due to the protocols only allowing players to be tested if they are symptomatic.

Mathews’ positive test comes with Australia taking major precautions to avoid any positive tests of their own after coach Andrew McDonald was a late arrival to the tour due to being struck down by the virus.

Along with the rapid tests during the match if they feel unwell, the tourists have been completing daily rapid tests on non-match days.

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