Asia Cup: Unwanted at IPL, unplayable in India game, Wellalage's incredible rise

The 20-year-old, who made his ODI debut against Australia last year, dismissed Kohli, Rohit, Gill, Rahul and Pandya

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Rituraj Borkakoty

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Dunith Wellalage (centre) celebrates after taking a wicket against India. — X
Dunith Wellalage (centre) celebrates after taking a wicket against India. — X

Published: Wed 13 Sep 2023, 12:12 AM

Dunith Wellalage, a slow left-arm spinner who was unsold at the 2023 IPL auction, broke the back of Indian batting with a stunning five-wicket spell on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old, who made his ODI debut against Australia last year, has earned the scalps of the who’s who of world cricket in his fledgling career.


Before starting Tuesday’s match against the star-studded Indian batting line-up in the Asia Cup, Wellalage’s list of victims in ODIs included Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne (twice), David Warner and Glenn Maxwell.

Now the talented young spinner added Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya to his collection of big-name wickets.


With a combination of turn, bounce and variations, Wellalage brought the Lankans back into the contest after India made a flying start, reaching 80 for no loss in just 11.1 overs.

Wellalage then led the stunning spin assault on India as Rohit’s team were bundled out for 213 in 49.1 overs, with all 10 wickets falling to spinners.

Part-time off-spinner Charith Asalanka (9-1-18-4) enjoyed the greatest day of his life with the ball, but the star of the show was Wellalage (10-1-40-5), who returned with the best bowling figures of his ODI career.

“I want to thank my coaches and management especially my spin bowling coach. I tried to bowl my normal variations and not give runs today (against India). My dream wicket was Kohli's wicket,” said the unassuming youngster who certainly has made a dream start to his career.

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