Who is Dunith Wellalage? The conqueror of Kohli, Rohit and Rahul in India's Super 4 clash with Sri Lanka at Asia Cup
Dunith Wellalage was not even born when India shared the ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka in 2002.
"Sri Lanka have shot India down," former England cricketer Dominic Cork said on-air after Sri Lanka's Dunith Wellalage managed to spin a web around the formidable Indian batting order in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup 2023 on Tuesday. Less than 24 hours after hammering arch-rivals Pakistan in the rain-marred Asia Cup showdown, Rohit Sharma's Team India made a rollicking start against defending champions Sri Lanka in match No.10 of the continental tournament.
Veteran India skipper Rohit completed 10,000 runs and was on course to play a blinder of a knock against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium. Supported by an in-form Shubman Gill, senior opener Rohit guided the Virat Kohli-starrer Team India to 80-0 inside the first 11 overs of the innings. At a time when Rohit's men were hoping to register another massive total in the Asia Cup 2023, Sri Lanka's rising star Wellalage made his presence felt by dismissing Gill with a brilliant delivery.
Wellalage stages Sri Lanka's comeback against India
Brought into the attack in the 11th over, Wellalage cleaned up Gill for 19 on the first ball of his match-changing spell. Kohli, who played a record-breaking knock against Pakistan, was Wellalage's second victim in the 14th over. Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka plucked a simple catch at mid-wicket as Wellalage dismissed Kohli for 3 off 12 balls.
After the drinks break, the 20-year-old bagged the jackpot wicket in the Super 4 match between India and Sri Lanka. Wellalage outfoxed Rohit in the 16th over to spark a turnaround for the reigning Asia Cup champions. From 80-0 to 93-3 in 16 overs, India were on the backfoot after Wellalage bowled a maiden and bagged three wickets by leaking just 4 runs in 3 overs. Brought back into the attack by skipper captain Shanaka, Wellalage removed KL Rahul for 39 in the 30th over.
All you need to know about Dunith Wellalage
Wellalage, who was not even born when India shared the ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka in 2002, made headlines with his bowling exploits in his 13th One Day International (ODI) appearance for the 1996 world champions. The left-handed batter and slow left-arm orthodox bowler completed his education at St. Joseph’s College in Colombo. Born in Colombo on January 9, 2003, the left-arm orthodox bowler made his international debut against Australia at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in 2022. Wellalage has only played a single Test for Sri Lanka (vs Pakistan) in his much promising career. He has taken 16 wickets for Sri Lanka in international cricket.
Wellalage captained the Sri Lanka U-19 team at the previous U-19 World Cup. Wellalage kickstarted his campaign with five-wicket hauls against Scotland and Australia. The Sri Lankan youngster was one of the top performers at the U-19 World Cup. He took 17 wickets for Sri Lanka in the ICC event. The all-rounder also scored 264 runs to finish as Sri Lanka's top scorer in the tournament. Wellalage smashed a half-century against Australia at the U-19 World Cup. However, he raised his stocks when the promising young talent played a memorable knock of 113 and returned figures of 1/29 against South Africa in the U-19 World Cup. Wellalage was among the three players who joined the Sri Lankan side as stand-by players for the World Cup qualifiers.
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