Sri Lanka daze India with opening win
India were dazed by Sri Lanka as they suffered a five-wicket loss in the first match of their three-game Twenty20 International series in Pune.
Confidence would have been high in the India camp following a 3-0 victory over Australia in January, but, with the swashbuckling Virat Kohli rested, they suffered a disappointing defeat on home soil.
A grassy wicket handed the bowlers an advantage, with T20I debutant Kasun Rajitha (3-23) and Dasun Shanaka (3-16) helping skittle India for just 101.
With such a low target, Sri Lanka could afford to take a far more patient approach, completing the chase with two overs remaining to ensure new coach Graham Ford got off to a winning start after returning to the helm for a second spell.
The tourists won the toss and elected to field, a decision which immediately paid dividends as Rajitha got off to a phenomenal start.
The seam-bowler dismissed Rohit Sharma (0) second ball and added the scalp of Ajinkya Rahane (4) – in for the rested Kohli – before the end of the opening over.
Shikhar Dhawan (9) was caught at third man for Rajitha’s third, while Shanaka also caused India problems, Suresh Raina (20) and captain MS Dhoni (2) dismissed in the space of three balls.
Yuvraj Singh (10) followed in the next over, and, although Ashish Nehra (6) and Ravichandran Ashwin (31 not out) mounted a 28-run stand, India’s best for the innings, they were all out for 101 after Jasprit Bumrah (0) was run out having slipped over.
The chase was by no means simple for Sri Lanka, though, losing debutant Niroshan Dickwella (4) in the first over.
At the midway point Sri Lanka had mustered less than half their target despite Chamara Kapugedera (25) knocking Hardik Pandya (0-18) to the ropes off successive balls in the 10th over.
Although Raina (1-13) got rid of top-scorer Dinesh Chandimal for 35, Sri Lanka saw the game out with 12 balls left with Milinda Siriwardana (21 not out) taking 10 off successive balls from Bumrah (0-19).