Nidahas Trophy: Sri Lanka beat India in opening match
Colombo, March 6 - Kusal Perera's brilliant 66 off 37 balls and some crucial contributions from the middle-order helped Sri Lanka beat India by five wickets in the opening match of the Nidahas Trophy Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket tri-series here on Tuesday.
After the Indian batsmen put up a decent target of 175, their bowlers failed to make a mark as the hosts hammered the bowlers all around the park. Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (2/37) and Washington Sundar (2/28) provided the crucial breakthroughs to control the run-flow.
Towards the end, Dasun Shanaka (15 not out) and Thisara Perera (22 not out) played sensibly and helped their team clinch the issue. Chasing 175, Sri Lanka got off to a bad start, losing opener Kusal Mendis (11) in the second over of the innings.
But Danushka Gunathilaka (19) and in-form Perera forged a crucial 58-runs partnership which saw some brilliant strokeplay.
Just when things seemed good in the middle, Gunathilaka was dismissed by pacer Jaidev Unadkat in the fifth over when scoreboard was reading 70/2. Unperturbed by the fall of wicket, Perera kept on punishing the Indian bowlers with incoming batsman Dinesh Chandimal (14).