India qualified for the Asia Cup final by defeating Sri Lanka by a commanding 41-run margin in their Super 4 encounter. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma watched as left-arm spinner Dunith Wellalage excelled with the ball, grabbing a five-wicket haul (5/40) to dismiss India for a score of 213. The spin combo of Wellalage and Charith Asalanka (4/18) created havoc during the middle overs, eventually bowling out India in 49.1 overs. Before a lengthy rain delay interrupted play, Rohit Sharma led India with 53 runs, with only three overs remained in India’s innings.
Sri Lanka failed to keep the momentum going, dropping wickets at regular intervals. Kuldeep Yadav shone with 4 for 43, while Jasprit Bumrah (2/30) produced early breakthroughs that helped India win. Sri Lanka’s innings lasted 41.3 overs and finished at 172. Wellalage was the star player for Sri Lanka, not just with the ball but also with the bat, hitting an undefeated 42 runs and demonstrating a fantastic all-around effort.
In response, Jasprit Bumrah rocked Sri Lanka’s batting by taking two wickets immediately before Mohammed Siraj entered the action. Despite Sadeera Samarawickrama and Asalanka’s 43-run partnership, India’s spin combo of Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja quickly turned the game in their favor. As India proceeded to take wickets, it looked that another major win was on the way. Dhananjaya de Silva and Wellalage, on the other hand, gave India a serious worry by forming a counterattacking partnership of 63 runs. Sri Lanka came close, but not near enough, as Hardik, Jadeja, and Kuldeep grabbed the final four wickets, putting India in the Asia Cup final.
It’s not often that a player from the losing team gets named Player of the Match, but Dunith Wellalage’s performance was exceptional. Kuldeep Yadav would have been a strong candidate with four wickets, but what this 20-year-old Sri Lankan kid accomplished today did not go ignored. A five-wicket haul was followed by a tough 42-run knock. Sri Lanka has discovered a future star.