Colombo | Dunith Wellalage wrecked Indian top-order with a five-wicket haul in an Asia Cup Super 4 match and the young Sri Lankan left-arm spinner said he will cherish the big wickets of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
Wellalage grabbed five wickets conceding 40 runs, which helped Sri Lanka restrict India to 213.
Apart from Kohli and Rohit, Wellalage also dismissed Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill and KL Rahul.
“For me, Virat Kohli is the No. 1 batsman. I am very happy to have got those two (Kohli and Rohit) big wickets. I trust my basics, and trust myself,” said Wellalage in the post-match press meet.
The 20-year-old said he was trying to bowl a wicket-to-wicket line against a set of experienced batsmen.
“The batters were set and India had got off to a fabulous start. I just tried to bowl wicket to wicket. Once we got those three wickets in three overs, we were able to put India under pressure.
“There was turn and when you put the ball in the right area, you could unsettle the batsmen. But I would have been happier with a win,” said Wellalage.
Despite limiting India to 213, Sri Lanka could only manage 172 to lose the match by 41 runs.
Later, Wellalage also made a good impression with the bat, making 42 off 46 balls.
The left-handed batter shared a 63-run alliance for the seventh wicket with Dhananjaya de Silva that revived the Lankan hopes of a win.
“I just tried to support him. We didn't want to take any risks. His plan was to try and get closer to India's total,” he said.
Sri Lanka will face Pakistan in a virtual knockout match on Thursday, and the winner will set up a title clash with India on September 17.
Wellalage hoped his side could make it to the final.
“We have played four matches so far and we are happy that we have won three of them. The larger picture is that we have got one more game remaining.
“We still have a chance to make it to the finals, and hopefully we will pull it off,” he added