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Cricket news - Philander out of second Sri Lanka Test with injury

Vernon Philander only ushered in 18 overs in the first Test against Sri Lanka

South Africa will be without fast bowler Vernon Philander in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Port Elizabeth due to a grade one hamstring strain. Head coach Ottis Gibson confirmed the development, revealing that Philander could be out for nearly two weeks.

"Vernon's got a grade 1 hamstring strain. This is the last Test match of the summer and he's pretty much out for 10 to 12 days, which rules him out of this Test match," Gibson said.

Among the pace quartet, involving Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier, Philander bowled the least in the first Test in Durban (18 overs across the two innings), which Sri Lanka won in dramatic fashion to take an unassailable lead in the two-match series.

Going into the series-defining fixture, South Africa might turn to 21-year-old medium-pacer, Wiaan Mulder, who made his ODI debut in 2017, but is yet to debut in Tests. In 20 First-Class fixtures, Mulder has 60 wickets at an average of 23.61. Gibson reckoned the youngster will be considered to fill the shoes of Philander, considering he will be a like-for-like replacement.

"We will look at the conditions and then we will try to make the best decision for the team. Obviously, Mulder would be a like-for-like replacement for Vernon, so that is something that we will consider as well."

The second Test will begin on February 21.

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