Kuldeep Yadav reached 150 ODI wickets mark on Tuesday, becoming the fastest Indian spinner to do so in just 88 One Day Internationals. The Chinaman bowler accomplished this milestone against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup Super Four match on Tuesday.
Kuldeep was absolutely unplayable in the match, taking four wickets for 43 runs in 9.3 overs at an economy rate of 4.52. He took crucial wickets of middle-order batters Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka. Later, he cleaned up the tail by removing Kasun Rajitha and Matheesha Pathirana. Now in 88 ODIs, Kuldeep has 150 wickets at an average of 25.64, with the best bowling figures of 6/25. He has taken seven four-wicket hauls and two five-wicket hauls for India in ODIs.
He is the second-fastest Indian to reach the mark after pacer Mohammed Shami, who reached 150 wickets in 80 matches. Also, Kuldeep has become the fastest Indian spinner to touch this milestone. Kuldeep is also the fourth-fastest spinner ever to reach 150 ODI wickets, with Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Mendis (84 matches), Rashid Khan (80 matches) and Saqlain Mushtaq (78 matches) above him.
With nine wickets in four matches, Kuldeep is the leading-wicket taker in the ongoing tournament, having taken a five-wicket haul against arch-rivals Pakistan. Coming to the match, India elected to bat first and a 80-run partnership between skipper Rohit Sharma (53 in 48 balls, seven fours and three sixes) and Shubman Gill (19) helped lay a foundation for a big score.
But what followed was a spin assault by spin duo of Dunith Wellalage and Asalanka. Baring a 63-run stand for the fourth wicket between KL Rahul and (39 in 44 balls with two fours) and Ishan Kishan (33 in 61 balls with a four and six), nothing else stood out for India later. Axar (26) though made sure India crossed the 200-run mark and was bundled out for 213 in 49.1 overs. Wellalage (5/40) and Asalanka (4/18) were pick of the bowlers for Lanka.
In the chase of 214, SL was off to a bad start and eventually reduced to 99/6 by Jasprit Bumrah (2/30), Mohammed Siraj (1/17) and Kuldeep (4/43). A stand between Dhananjaya de Silva (41 in 66 balls) and Wellalage threatened to steal the show and the match from India, but Indian bowlers removed the tail just in time to make sure that Wellalage (42* in 46 balls with three fours and a six) was left stranded. SL was bundled out for 172 in 41.3 overs.
Dunith took home the ‘Player of the Match’ award and India reached the final.