FORMER Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has praised Sri Lankan all-rounder Dunith Wellalage for his brilliant performance against India in the Asia Cup at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday.
Wellalage delivered an all-round performance with bat and ball. He achieved his maiden five-wicket haul in the match and also scored 42 off 46 balls.
He single-handedly dismantled a formidable Indian batting lineup and bagged the wicket of top batters like Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya.
Irfan Pathan lauded Wellalage on X (formerly known as Twitter), saying that he showed brilliant technique and attitude.
“Eventually Dunith Wellalage will bat up the order for Sri Lanka. Brilliant technique & attitude shown by this young kid. #INDvSL,” he wrote in his X handle.
Coming to the match, India elected to bat first and an 80-run partnership between skipper Rohit Sharma (53 in 48 balls, seven fours and three sixes) and Shubman Gill (19) helped lay a foundation for a big score.
But what followed was a spin assault by the duo of Dunith Wellalage and Asalanka. Baring a 63-run stand for the fourth wicket between KL Rahul and (39 in 44 balls with two fours) and Ishan Kishan (33 in 61 balls with a four and six), nothing else stood out for India later. Axar (26) though made sure India crossed the 200-run mark before being bundled out for 213 in 49.1 overs.
Wellalage (5/40) and Asalanka (4/18) were the pick of the bowlers for Lanka.
In the chase of 214, SL was off to a bad start and eventually reduced to 99/6 by Jasprit Bumrah (2/30), Mohammed Siraj (1/17) and Kuldeep (4/43).
A stand between Dhananjaya de Silva (41 in 66 balls) and Wellalage threatened to steal the show and the match from India, but Indian bowlers removed the tail just in time to make sure that Wellalage (42* in 46 balls with three fours and a six) was left stranded. SL was bundled out for 172 in 41.3 overs.
Dunith took home the ‘Player of the Match’ award and India reached the final.