Colombo : Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka said that he was confident that the young left-arm orthodox spinner Dunith Wellalage would do something special against India after watching his performance against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup 2023.
India's bowling attack combined to end Sri Lanka's 13 ODI match unbeaten streak and seal their spot in the final of the Asia Cup 2023 with a game to spare, as the hosts bundled out for 172 chasing a paltry target at the R Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday.
While spinners from either side dominated the game, the pacers, too, played a part in India's 41-run victory over the co-hosts.
Belligerent Wellalage sliced through India's top order to help Sri Lanka bundle out Men in Blue for 213.
Shanaka praised the left-arm orthodox spinner and expressed his confidence in Wellalage's ability to perform admirably against India.
"We didn't expect this kind of wicket, I thought it was a batting wicket but we adjusted well, especially Wellalage, DDS and Asalanka. The luxury of two genuine batters, they have been bowling in the nets and I know their real potential, today I had the option of using them today. Seeing the last game against Bangladesh I knew Wellalage would do something special today, he took Kohli's wicket and I was pretty sure it was his day and he will take a couple more wickets," Dasun Shanaka said in a post-match presentation.
Youngster Wellalage achieved a remarkable feat as he secured his maiden 5-wicket haul, single-handedly dismantling a formidable Indian batting lineup and bagging the wicket of top batters like Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya.
"First of all I want to congratulate the Indian team. They have so many experienced players but unfortunately, we lost the game but we have another game and we want to put up a good fight. Kuldeep is a great bowler, I tried to play my normal game with a positive mindset. I want to thank my team-mates and my coaching staff - they gave me great support," Dunith Wellalage said in a post-match presentation.