Shikhar Dhawan’s career-best Twenty20 worldwide innings, a composed 90 from the old warhorse when all eyes were on the new faces, was not enough to deny Sri Lanka victory in the opening match of the Nidahas Trophy here on Tuesday.
27 runs were scored off that over it gave Sri Lanka the momentum, they were looking for.
India outplayed the Sri Lankans in bilateral rubbers in recent times. Earlier, India’s batting got off to a false start with the fall of stand-in captain Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina in the first two overs.
While Rohit will lead the side, Shikhar Dhawan has been named his deputy. The duo added 95 runs for the third wicket, but Pandey’s innings frittered, while Dhawan kept it going. But he has been in red-hot form for India in coloured clothes since the Champions Trophy and bulldozed his way through a Lankan bowling attack to top score for India.
Speaking after the end of the match, Dhawan said, “After the first six overs, Sri Lanka were 75/2 which was 25 runs too many”.
India got rid of Kusal Mendis through Washington Sundar in the second over but after that Perera took full control of the chase.
Kusal Perera had revealed his intentions pretty early. Kusal Perera was awarded Man of the Match for his brilliant knock.
Perera reached his half-century off 22 deliveries – his eighth in the format. Suspended by the International Cricket Council for failing a dope test, Perera was forced to miss almost six months of cricket before he successfully challenged the findings. In the ninth over, Chandimal was sent packing by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik went big in the final few overs to take the visitors to a promising total. With only 48 runs needed off 45 balls, it seemed SL may just cruise to victory.
Upul Tharanga (17) also failed to utilise the start he got and was bowled by Chahal. With regards to the playing combination, Sri Lanka may stick to the same opening pair.
At the presentation ceremony, Kusal Perera said, “This is my best innings, but I had better innings as well”. “Hopefully, we’ll come back stronger”, Rohit said.
Shikhar Dhawan leaps into the air as he tries to take a catch during the match. The No. 4 batsman fell for a 35-ball 37 while trying to cut loose against Jeevan Mendis.
This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire. The duo has made 2,054 runs in 52 ODIs at an average of 39.50 including 13 partnerships of over 50 (six of them converted to 100-run stands). And he failed to deliver. He struck him for three straight fours followed by a six over mid-off.