Kusal Perera’s assault helps Sri Lanka hunt down 175

  • Sri Lanka 175 for 5 (Kusal Perera 66, Sundar 2-28) beat India 174 for 5 (Dhawan 90, Chameera 2-32) by five wickets 

Colombo: Sri Lanka rode a 22-ball fifty from Kusal Perera, and a proficient finish from Thisara Perera, to victory in the Nidahas Trophy opener against India, though the chase of 175 was not without its tense moments. With four overs remaining in the chase, Sri Lanka needed 35 and had two relatively new batsmen at the crease.

Although India’s quicks were briefly ascendant, a six and a four down the ground from Thisara lurched Sri Lanka to the brink of victory. He would complete the win himself, with a swipe to the fine-leg boundary, with nine balls still left in the innings.

Asked to bat first, India had lost two early wickets, but mustered a competitive total thanks largely to Shikhar Dhawan, who made 90 off 49 balls – his best score in the format. Dhawan’s 95-run stand with Manish Pandey was the centrepiece of India’s innings, though perhaps they will be disappointed to not have made at least 10 runs more, given the position Dhawan had left them in.

Two spinners – Jeevan Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka – had taken a wicket apiece and kept the scoring in check through the latter half of the innings.