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Nidahas Trophy 2018: Kusal Perera’s special knock helps Sri Lanka stun India in the opening match

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©Associated Press

The hosts Sri Lanka stunned India by 5 wickets in the opening match of Nidahas Trophy tri-series played at Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and elected to field. Shikhar Dhawan’s 90 and Manish 37, Pant 23 and Dinesh Karthik 13 helped team India score 174 for 5 in 20 overs. In reply, Kusal Perera made a quick fire 66 off 37 balls gave a solid foundation to give Sri Lanka a 5 wicket win.

Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and elected to field. The Indian innings got off to a worse start losing the wicket of captain Rohit Sharma in the first over. Suresh Raina could not contribute much as he was dismissed for 1. Shikhar Dhawan and Manish Pandey steadied the innings scoring 40 runs in the first 6 overs. The hard-hitting left-handed batsman continued his brilliant success from the T20I series against South Africa.

Dhawan completed his half-century off 30 balls. Manish Pandey also played some wonderful strokes. Both Dhawan and Pandey added 95 runs for the third wicket. Dhawan continued to smash the Sri Lankan bowlers while Pant struggled to hit big shots. In the end overs, India could not score much and posted 174 for 5 in 20 overs.

Chasing 175, Kusal Mendis was dismissed for 11 runs in the second over. Kusal Perera looked in cracking form smashing the inexperienced Indian bowlers to all parts of the ground. At the end of six overs, Sri Lanka scored 75 runs for the loss of 2 wickets. Perera reached his fifty off 22 balls. India tried to make a comeback in the match taking Dinesh Chandimal, dangerous Kusal Perera, and Tharanga.

Shanka struggled to time the ball while Thisara Perera played some brilliant shots. Both of them added 39 runs. Sri Lanka won the match by 5 wickets with 9 balls to spare.

Sri Lanka 175 for 5 in 18.3 overs ( Kusal Perera 66, Thisara Perera 22, Washington Sundar 2/28, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/37) beat

India 174 for 5 in 20 overs ( Shikhar Dhawan 90, Manish Pandey 37, Pant 23, Chameera 2/33) by 5 wickets.

Captain Rohit Sharma said: The wicket was so flat and thought we got a below-par total. It was a decent total but the way Sri Lanka batted credit to them as a batting group. The bowling group tried their level best. On a wicket like this, the batting should be strong.

Captain Dinesh Chandimal said: The way we played in this match was great. Winning the series in Bangladesh gave us the confidence to perform well as a unit. Really happy for the team.

Man of the match Kusal Perera: This is one of the best innings I have played for a long time. The pitch was good to bat on and feeling confident about my abilities. I am feeling 100% fit now.

India will play their next match against Bangladesh on Thursday at the same ground.

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