In a gripping cricket match on September 12th, Sri Lankan spinners Dunith Wellalage and Charith Asalanka dominated, collectively claiming all nine Indian wickets and causing a batting collapse at Colombo’s R. Premadasa Stadium. Despite opting to bat first after winning the toss, Indian openers struggled against Sri Lanka’s pace attack. However, a game-changing shift occurred when spinners were introduced. Dunith Wellalage scalped five vital wickets, while Charith Asalanka took four, allowing only three Indian players—Rohit Sharma (53), Ishan Kishan (33), and KL Rahul (39)—to surpass the 30-run mark.
Rain interrupted play after 47 overs, with India at 197/9. Following the rain delay, Sri Lankan pacers wrapped up India’s innings at 213. Chasing a target of 214, Sri Lanka lost five early wickets to Indian pacers but fell short by 41 runs despite notable performances by Dhananjaya de Silva (41) and Dunith Wellalage (42).
KL Rahul said
KL Rahul had a brilliant day in the field behind the stumps. He had a quick chat with the commentator after a hard fought victory. KL Rahul expressed his satisfaction with the team’s performance, emphasizing the trust and unity within the squad. He acknowledged that although they didn’t spend all 100 overs on the field, the physical challenges were still demanding. He was proud that the team showed up and gave their best.
“It was amazing, we were trusted throughout. We were not on the field for 100 overs but how many ever overs we were there it tested us physically, great to see we turned up today and gave it our best. We turned up and that is a big tick mark for us as a team,” Rahul said.
Rahul highlighted the importance of contributing to the team, especially when batting in the middle order, and mentioned the significance of building partnerships. Despite being out of action for several months, he was willing to accept any role that came his way and emphasized the crucial partnership he formed with Ishan Kishan.
“Always happy when I contribute to the team, when you are batting in the middle order it is important to build partnerships. I have been out for 4-5 months, I will take anything that comes, it was a crucial partnership with Kishan. Third day in a row playing at the same vene, bit of spin but we managed it really well, we were 20-30 runs short, few more partnerships could have got us to 230-240,” he added.
He also noted that playing at the same venue for three consecutive days presented some challenges, particularly with the presence of spin, but he commended the team for managing the conditions effectively. Rahul believed they were slightly short of the target and felt that a few more partnerships could have pushed their score to 230-240.
Rahul’s role as the wicketkeeper allowed him to have a good understanding of the batters’ actions, and he shared that he had given some valuable advice to Kuldeep Yadav before a crucial dismissal, which fortunately worked in their favor.
“When you are behind the stumps, you have a good idea as to what the batter is doing and I just passed on the message, luckily it worked for Kuldeep,” he concluded.
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