Mendis not certain of facing Kiwis
Sri Lanka are waiting to discover if Ajantha Mendis will recover in time to face New Zealand at Pallekele today.
Last Updated: 27/09/12 7:38am
The 25-year-old spinner claimed a remarkable 6-8 against Zimbabwe during the first round of group matches - the best ever figures recorded in a T20 international.
However, a side strain ruled him out of his team's second match against South Africa last Saturday and coach Graham Ford says Sri Lanka are keen for him to be fit to face the Kiwis.
He said: "With the way he bowled and the X-factor he brings, it would be a big blow if he didn't play.
"In T20 cricket you want guys who can win matches on their own and he's one of those guys."
Mendis has only just returned to international cricket following an eight month injury lay-off.
As for naming a replacement in Mendis's possible absence, Ford added: "We have a number of quality spinners, fortunately, so if Ajantha can't play we have very capable back-up."
One of these is the uncapped 18-year-old Akila Dananjaya and Ford went on: "He's certainly very close to playing.
"He was probably going to play against South Africa and then the game got reduced and there was the chance he would've been bowling with a wet ball."