Sri Lanka started off their Nidahas Trophy on a sensational note beating India in the opening clash of the tournament. It was a powerful innings of 90 runs by Shikhar Dhawan which propelled India to a score of 174. Sri Lanka’s Kusal Perera was the star for the visitors scoring a quickfire 66. It was a dream start for Sri Lanka and will look to carry on their form in the tournament.
It was Sri Lankan skipper Dinesh Chandimal who won the toss and put the visitors in. India was jolted early with the loss of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina within the first couple of overs. While Dushmantha Chameera removed Rohit for a duck, Raina was dismissed by Nuwan Pradeep on 1. Manish Pandey who joined Shikhar Dhawan and started resurrecting India’s innings.
Later Shikhar Dhawan started taking the Sri Lankan bowlers to the cleaners. It was sensational hitting by the southpaw as he made batting look ridiculously easy. On the other hand, Manish Pandey was just rotating the strike and kept giving the strike back to Dhawan. The southpaw was literally tormenting the Sri Lankan bowlers.
He eventually fell just 10 runs short of a well deserved century. His innings of 90 runs contained 6 fours and as many sixes which came in just 49 deliveries. It was his innings which eventually helped India post a competitive total of 174 runs in 20 overs. Rishabh Pant who made a comeback to the national team scored a sedate 23 off 23 deliveries which contained a six and a four.
In the end, it was Dinesh Karthik who remained unbeaten on 13 off 6 deliveries which were studded with a couple of fours. While chasing the total, Sri Lanka got off to a flier. Kusal Mendis struck a couple of fours. However, he couldn’t quite continue and was dismissed by Washington Sundar in the 2nd over. It as Jaydev unadkat who bagged the 2nd wicket of Danushka Gunathiaka but by then a blazing start from Kusal Perera had already got the hosts off to a sensational start.
He kept smashing the Indian bowlers all around the park. Shardul Thakur was smashed for as many as 27 runs as Sri Lanka were coasting towards the victory target. However, his innings came to an end at the score of 66 which came in just 37 deliveries. It contained 6 fours and 4 sixes. However, there was a stem of run flow in the middle after his dismissal.
But it was Thisara Perera and Dasun Shanaka who held their nerves and completed the job for the hosts. Finally, they won the innings by 5 wickets with 9 balls to spare.
India 174/5 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 90, Manish Pandey 37, Dushmantha Chameera 2/33)
Sri Lanka 175/5 in 20 overs (Kusal Perera 66, Thisara Perera 22*, Washington Sundar 2/28)
Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets (with 9 balls to spare)