KL Rahul and Dunith Wellalage. (Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar and Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)
Sri Lanka left-arm spinner Dunith Wellalage left the cricketing fraternity awestruck after his sensational all-round show vs India in the Super 4 fixture of the Asia Cup 2023 on Tuesday, September 12 at R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. The 20-year-old first picked up 5/40 with the ball to bring Indian batters down to their knees and later played a heroic knock of 42* (46) to give a mighty scare to the Men in Blue in the second innings.
Talking about the new mystery spinner from the island nation, India wicket-keeper batter KL Rahul showered praise on him and called him the most dangerous bowler in the Sri Lankan team. However, further speaking ahead, Rahul said that the team will not allow him to settle the next time they face him and will go after him.
“He was spot on He got five wickets He did the job for his team. He looked the most dangerous bowler in Sri Lanka’s attack till I was playing. What more can I say? He got five top-order batsmen out. It was a good day for him, he did well with the bat too. The next time we play, we will go after him,” Rahul was quoted as saying by HindustanTimes.
Notably, Wellalage’s maiden five-wicket haul consisted of big scalps such as Shubman Gill (19 off 25), Virat Kohli (3 off 12), Rohit Sharma (53 off 48), KL Rahul (39 off 44) and Hardik Pandya (5 off 18). He also impressed with his fielding as well, taking a sharp catch of Ishan Kishan jumping to his full height at cover.
Wellalage was awarded Player of the Match for his all round show
Later in the second innings, he got involved in a crucial 63-run stand off 74 balls with Dhananjaya de Silva (41 off 66) for the seventh wicket to keep Sri Lanka in the game. However, following the end of their partnership, the tail bundled out quickly as Sri Lanka got all out for 172 runs handing a 41-run win to India. Despite ending on the losing side, Wellalage was awarded Player of the Match for his all-round show.