Sri Lanka spinner Dunith Wellalage wrecked India’s batting order en route to his maiden five-wicket haul at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. India is facing Sri Lanka in a Super-4 contest in the ongoing 2023 Asia Cup.

Wellalage joined former Sri Lanka mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis to become just the second Sri Lankan spinner to claim a five-fer against India in Asia Cup history. The 20-year-old ran through India’s top and middle order, dismissing Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya.

India got off to a flyer in the powerplay, and were cruising at 80 for no loss after 11 overs. Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka then introduced Wellalage into the attack and produced immediately, cleaning up Shubman Gill with a well-worked flighted delivery.

He doubled his tally in his next over, picking the big wicket of Virat Kohli. The 34-year-old, who had four centuries in as many matches at this ground prior to this game, tried to whip Wellalage on the leg side but found Shanaka’s safe grasp at short midwicket.

He returned in the 16th over to haunt the Men in Blue once again, this time dismissing skipper Rohit Sharma, who was set after

scoring his 51st half-century. The ball kept low and knocked the stumps over as Rohit was stuck on the crease. With this, the young spinner had claimed the wickets of India’s top-three batters.

In the 30th over, Wallalage was the difference-maker once again, this time breaking a crucial partnership budding between Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul. The left-arm spinner caught and bowled the in-form Rahul to claim his fourth of the day.

He was involved in the dismissal of Kishan as well, stretching at full force to pick up a brilliant catch in the 35th over off Charith Asalanka’s bowling. In the very next over, which was the last of his 10-over quota, Wallalage dismissed the dangerous Hardik Pandya off the last ball of his over. Pandya edged Wallalage’s delivery to the wicket-keeper to leave India reeling at 172 for 6.

Wallalage ended with five wickets, giving away just 40 runs in 10 overs. With this performance, he joined Ajantha Mendis and Farveez Mahroof to pick five-wicket hauls against India in Asia Cups, and the second spinner to do so.

In fact, he became just the third Sri Lankan spinner to claim a five-wicket haul after Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan. 
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