Nidahas Trophy: Sri Lanka Bank On Kushal Perera, Win Opening Game Of Tri-Series Against India

| March 7 , 2018 , 12:37 IST

It was a rocky start to the series for the 'Men In Blue' as the team under interim captain Rohit Sharma lost their opening game against hosts Sri Lanka in the Nidahas Trophy tri-series on Tuesday. Kushal Perera was named the man of the match for his match winning 66 off 37 balls.

Sri Lanka won the toss and made India bat first. They put on a decent total of 174 runs. Shikhar Dhawan was again the batsmen amongst the two openers who anchored the boat after faltering start from Rohit Sharma. The skipper was sent back to the pavilion for 0.

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Dhawan, being the top scorer with his 90 off 49 deliveries needed support from the team to put on a formidable total to dispel the opposition. The left-hander struck six fours and an equal number of sixes, bringing up his fifth T20I fifty as he shared a crucial 95-run third-wicket stand with Manish Pandey (37 off 35) to take the visitors to a strong total.

The pair of Dhawan and Pandey had joined hands after India were 9/2, following the dismissals of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina.

But, after their dismissal, neither Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik could capitalise on the momentum.

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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 Jaydev Unadkat in the fifth over when the scoreboard was reading 70/2.

Even though the wickets were falling around him, Perera was unflustered as he punished the Indian bowlers for continuous mistakes they made. Except for spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (2/37) and teenager Washington Sundar (2/28), few provided any sort of support as Sri Lankan batsmen picked their shots to comfortably chase down the total.

India will be looking to reprimand themselves when they take on Bangladesh on Thursday.