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Dunith Vellalaghe: The 20-year-old star who shone in the Asia Cup

By Vipin - September 14, 2023 - Last updated on Sep 14, 2023 01:52 PM
Dunith Vellalaghe: The 20-year-old star who shone in the Asia Cup

India won the toss against Sri Lanka and made the same start as they did against Pakistan. At one time India's score was 80 runs without any loss in 11 overs when the ball was handed over to the young Sri Lankan cricketer.

Earlier, many of you might not have heard the name of Dunith Vellalaghe, but now this name is echoing everywhere, because on Tuesday night, the important match of Asia Cup between India and Sri Lanka took place between India and Vellalaghe.

20 year old Dunith Vellalaghe did what the experienced bowlers of Sri Lanka could not do with his very first ball. He bowled the in-form batsman Shubhman Gill, who had scored a half-century against Pakistan, in such a way that even captain Rohit Sharma standing at the other end was surprised.

First ball of the third over

Virat Kohli, who scored a century against Pakistan, somehow played the remaining balls of the over but Dunit Vellalaghe forced Virat to play a wrong shot on the fifth ball of his second over and Kohli gave an easy catch at mid-on, and he was caught like this. No one expected the shot. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma had completed his half-century and India's score was 90 runs at the loss of two wickets.

But the magic of Dunith Vellalage also caught Rohit, who was bowled on the very first ball of his third over. It was beyond Rohit Sharma's understanding as to how his wicket was lost. The Indian team suddenly came under pressure.


Then KL Rahul, the batsman who had scored a century against Pakistan, somehow managed the team, but he too got caught on his ball after scoring 39 runs. That is, four out of the first four batsmen became victims of Dunith Vellalaghe.

Five leading Indian batsmen became victims

After this Asalanka dismissed Ishan Kishan for 33 runs but Dunith Vellalaghe caught him out. After this, Dunith Vellalaghe got his fifth wicket by getting Hardik Pandya caught by wicketkeeper Mendes for five runs. At that time India's score was 172 runs while the sixth wicket had fallen.

When Dunith Vellalage's ten overs were completed, India heaved a sigh of relief. He dismissed five leading Indian batsmen for one maiden and 40 runs, with this he also became the youngest Sri Lankan player to take a five-wicket haul in ODIs.


According to former Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar, the entire Indian team was out for 213 runs and then Pakistani fans started saying that India was deliberately losing the match to spoil Pakistan's hopes of reaching the final.

The story does not end here...

India started defending its low score and got success on the very first ball of the third over, when Jasprit Bumrah sent Pathon Nissanka to the pavilion for six runs. Then he put Sri Lanka on the backfoot by taking the wicket of wicketkeeper-batsman Kusal Mendes. In the very next over, Mohammed Siraj dismissed Dimukh Karunaratne for two runs and reduced the score to 25 runs at the loss of three wickets.

When Sri Lanka had lost six wickets at 99 runs and signs of defeat were clearly visible, young Dunith Vellalaghe came to bat and gradually started dominating the Indian bowlers. He made a partnership of 63 runs with Dhananjay de Silva.


Dunith Vellalaghe bowled Shubhman Gill in such a way that even captain Rohit Sharma standing at the other end was surprised. De Silva, while trying to be aggressive, suddenly played a bad shot and then the Sri Lankan team could not recover. At the other end, Dunith Vellalaghe top scored for Sri Lanka with 42 runs and kept watching the wickets fall as his team lost by 41 runs.

But when he and De Silva were batting, at one time it seemed that victory was falling in Sri Lanka's lap and the commentator of the match was saying that 'This match is not India vs Sri Lanka but India vs Velales.' And perhaps that is why he was chosen 'Man of the Match' despite being in the losing team.

Who is Dunith vellalage

Dunitha Nithmika Vellalage was born on 9 January 2003 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He is a left arm spin bowler and batsman. He studied at St. Joseph's College Colombo and played his first and only Test match against Pakistan in which he did not get any wicket but scored 11 and 18 runs.

He played his first ODI match last year against Australia in Pallikele in which he took two wickets and till now he has taken 18 wickets in 13 ODI matches, out of which he has taken nine wickets in this Asia Cup.

Pakistan will have to stay away from this child

Dunith Vellalaghe is one of the top trends on social media in India and Sri Lanka as well as Pakistan. While on one hand there is discussion about this new player in Sri Lanka, on the other hand in India also there is discussion about Dunith Vellalage.

Former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer wrote, "What a game it was. So many ups and downs. How important was Akshar Patel's partnership of 26 and 27 runs for the last wicket. Four wickets of Kuldeep and important wickets of Jaddu (Jadeja). Dunith Claw and 42 runs for Vellalaghee. Unfortunately he was in the losing team but he is one of the players of the future."

In such a situation, Pakistani fans are worried that how will the Pakistani batsmen be able to play in front of this magician who makes India's top batsmen dance the dance of 'Tigani', who had faced Indian spinner Kuldeep Yadav just two days ago.


Pakistani Twitter user Akhtar Jamal wrote, "Stop thinking about how India played. The worry is how Pakistan will play this Sri Lankan spinner Vellalage on September 14. Pakistan should bring Usman Mir and Nawaz or Imad Wasim in the team. And Shadab should be given rest." A user named Shahid Hashmi wrote, "Vellalaage showed Pakistani batsmen how to play Kuldeep Yadav. What a talent."

Keep in mind that Kuldeep Yadav had taken five wickets against Pakistan and no one could understand him, but after the way Vellalaghe played Kuldeep on Tuesday night, Rohit Sharma removed him from the bowling. Indian user Sudeep wrote, "Pakistan will have to stay safe from this child. We saw his disastrous performance and somehow survived. Now it is Pakistan's turn.

Also Read: Pakistan vs Sri Lanka (PAK vs SL) Today Weather Report of R.Premadasa Stadium

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