Dunith Wellalage, a standout from the ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup 2022, showcased his bowling prowess in the Super 4 clash of Asia Cup 2023, leading Sri Lanka’s remarkable effort against India in Colombo.
In a mesmerizing spell, the talented all-rounder secured his maiden five-wicket haul, leaving India’s top order in tatters. The left-arm spinner commenced his masterclass as Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill solidified India’s opening stand. With a delivery that spun sharply, he dismissed Gill, narrowly missing a leading edge off Virat Kohli’s bat on the following delivery. Kohli’s dismissal came when a shorter delivery clung to the wicket, prompting a miscued flick to mid-wicket.
But Wellalage wasn’t finished yet; he shattered Rohit Sharma’s defense with a skiddy delivery that skidded low and crashed into the leg stump. His brilliance continued as he claimed the prized wicket of KL Rahul, completing a mesmerizing five-wicket haul with a wicket on the last ball of his spell.
Wellalage’s heroics, coupled with Charith Asalanka’s part-time off-spin that garnered four wickets, resulted in a stunning statistic. Sri Lanka’s spinners accounted for all 10 wickets in India’s innings, a historic moment in men’s ODI cricket. This marked the first instance where India lost all 10 wickets to spin in a men’s ODI, a remarkable feat.
Interestingly, history had a way of repeating itself at the same venue. In 1997, Sri Lanka‘s spinners had claimed nine wickets against India, previously the highest number of wickets taken by spinners against India in a men’s ODI.
For Dunith Wellalage, this memorable five-wicket haul symbolizes his continued growth as an international cricketer. After shining at the U19 stage in the 2022 ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup, where he topped the wicket charts with an impressive 17 scalps, Wellalage is undoubtedly a rising star to watch.