Sri Lanka stunned India with aggressive batting and recorded a six-wicket win in the Asia Cup Super 4 on Tuesday.
Half-centuries by the opening pair of Kusal Mendis (57) and Pathum Nissanka (52) led Sri Lanka to 174-4 for its third straight successful run-chase of 170-plus in the tournament.
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma turned around his below-par batting form with 72 off 41 balls to anchor his team to 173-8 after Virat Kohli was bowled by Dilshan Madushanka (3-24) for zero.
The right-armed Madhushanka reined in Indian power-hitters in his return spell with the wickets of Rishabh Pant and Deepak Hooda after Sharma holed out in the 13th over off medium-fast bowler Chamika Karunaratne. Mendis and Nissanka raised Sri Lanka’s best opening partnership in a T20 against India when they racked up 97 runs in 11 overs.
India came back through spinner Yuzvendra Chahal’s (3-34) triple strike in his last two overs. But captain Dasun Shanaka made an unbeaten 33 off 18 balls, and Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored 25 not out as Sri Lanka reached home with a ball to spare.
Meanwhile, Rohit was asked to reveal the match’s turning point in the post-match press conference. “The opening partnership between Mendis and Nissanka brought the equation in Lanka’s favor. For me, that was the turning point,” he said.