Kusal Perera inspires Sri Lanka to T20 victory

Sri Lanka had nine balls to spare when Thisara Perera's boundary secured victory over India in the first Twenty20.

Sri Lanka's Kusal Perera   -  Getty Images

Kusal Perera's brisk 66 helped Sri Lanka to a five-wicket win against India in the opening match of the Twenty20 tri-series on Tuesday.

Having opted to put the visitors into bat, Sri Lanka restricted their opponents to 174-5 as Shikhar Dhawan's eye-catching 90 headlined India's innings.

It was the scarcity of support from elsewhere in the order that stifled India, with Manish Pandey (37) and Rishabh Pant (23) at least providing some back-up.

But a run rate of 8.7 always looked short of providing a true test for the hosts in Colombo, with Sri Lanka overcoming a couple of wobbles en route to highlighting that fact.

Kusal Perera's knock included six fours and four sixes, while namesake Thisara Perera ensured his side got over the line with an unbeaten 22 off 10 deliveries, including a decisive boundary to seal it in the 19th over.

That means Dhawan's fine 49-ball outing was ultimately part of a losing cause, his six maximums having failed to lift India into a commanding enough position.

India face Bangladesh on Thursday, with Sri Lanka taking on the Tigers at the weekend. 

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