Kusal Perera

Kusal Perera leads Sri Lanka to victory

MNA Sports Desk: Kusal Perera hit a blazing half-century to power Sri Lanka to a five-wicket win over India in the opening Twenty20 international of the tri-nation tournament on Tuesday.

Chasing 175 for victory, the hosts rode on Perera’s 37-ball 66 to achieve their target with nine balls to spare at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium.

The left-handed Perera, who hit 6 fours and 4 sixes, overshadowed Indian opener Shikar Dhawan’s career-best 90 that saw the visitors post 174-5 after being put into bat first.

Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar hurt Sri Lanka’s chase by picking up two wickets each but Perera’s fiery start made sure the hosts stand tall.

Thisara Perera, on 22, and Dasun Shanaka, on 15, then put on an unbeaten 39-run stand to keep up the spirits of a raucous home crowd.

Earlier Dhawan’s 49-ball blitz, laced with 6 fours and 6 sixes, lifted India from a precarious 9-2 to put up a respectable total.

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