India beat Sri Lanka to reach the Asia Cup 2023 final© AFP
The Indian cricket team defeated Sri Lanka to book their spot in the Asia Cup 2023 final but the performance from young spinner Dunith Wellalage earned him praise from both experts and fans alike. He took a brilliant five-wicket haul that included the prized wickets of Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and then played a gritty knock of 42 from 46 deliveries to almost take his side to victory. Although he fell short, Wellalage received a massive compliment from legendary Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga.
Malinga took to social media to say that considering the all-round performance of Wellalage, it felt like Sri Lanka were playing with 12 players and even predicted that he can be a big star in the future.
“It’s fair to say that SL played with 12 players today. That’s how good Dunith was,” Malinga wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “He’s got a brilliant head on his young shoulders to go with his all-round skill set. I believe he’s on his way to becoming the most important player for SL in ODIs for the next decade.”
It’s fair to say that SL played with 12 players today. That’s how good Dunith was
He’s got a brilliant head on his young shoulders to go with his all-round skill set.
I believe he’s on his way to becoming the most important player for SL in ODIs for the next decade#INDvSL
— Lasith Malinga (@malinga_ninety9) September 12, 2023
“For me, Virat Kohli is the No. 1 batsman. I am very happy to have got those two (Kohli and Rohit) big wickets. I trust my basics, and trust myself,” said Wellalage in the post-match press meet.
The 20-year-old said he was trying to bowl a wicket-to-wicket line against a set of experienced batsmen.
“The batters were set and India had got off to a fabulous start. I just tried to bowl wicket to wicket. Once we got those three wickets in three overs, we were able to put India under pressure.
“There was turn and when you put the ball in the right area, you could unsettle the batsmen. But I would have been happier with a win,” said Wellalage.
(With PTI inputs)
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