Perera’s quickfire 66 helps Sri Lanka defeat India in Nidahas Trophy opener

Colombo [Sri Lanka]: Shikhar Dhawan’s valiant knock of 90 went in vain in the opening clash of the 2018 Nidahas Trophy, as the Lankans chased down the 175 target set by the visitors, with five wickets and nine balls to spare.

After a wobbly start saw India lose stand-in captain Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina early in the innings, Shikhar Dhawan produced his best innings so far in the format, scoring 90 runs in 49 balls which included six fours and six sixes and his 95-run partnership with Manish Pandey ensured India put up a competitive total.

Although, it turned out to be well below the mark as Sri Lanka chased down the target without facing too many problems as Kusal Perera turned on the heat with a well made 66 from 37 deliveries.

“On this track, I felt that 170 was a good score. It’s just that Kusal Perera played an amazing knock and he just took the game away from us very quickly,” Dhawan said in the post-match press conference.

The Lankans came out all guns blazing at the start of their innings, as the Man of the Match, Perera, targeted the Powerplay to keep Sri Lanka one step ahead of India. The third over of the innings, bowled by Shardul Thakur, was really especially exploited by the Lankan southpaw, who scored 27 runs in that over.

Addressing the media after the match, Perera said, “Really good for the confidence, starting from the first game so getting off to a winning start is the main thing. As a team, we are trying to do better day-by-day and we are taking one match at a time. We are not too confident about this win, so we are trying to do our best day-by-day.”

The next match of the Nidahas trophy will be played between India and Bangladesh at the same venue on Thursday. (ANI)