With Chandimal out for the next two matches, all-rounder Thisara Perera will take over as captain. The partnership surpassed the previous best of 71, between Imrul Kayes and Soumya Sarkar, at the same venue when the Tigers toured Sri Lanka a year ago while the best powerplay - 76 - had come against New Zealand in 2013. However, it all boiled down to how the bowlers executed their plans after India won the toss and asked Sri Lanka to bat.
Mendis though got little support from the other batsmen as the hosts kept losing wickets at regular intervals. India will next face Bangladesh on Wednesday, whereas Sri Lanka will face the same opponents later on Friday.
After 9 overs: India's score is 83 for 3. Mushfiqur Rahim ruined the night for them and such was the pressure he put by smashing four sixes and five fours on Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal that they had to slow down the over rate to get right the calculations and field placements.
The experiment that the Indian team is conducting today keeping the untried players in the playing XI might cost them a loss but then again it is a game of uncertainties. But the left-hander chipped one straight to Thisara Perera at mid-off Nuwan Pradeep as India slumped to 63 for three after seven overs.
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India pacer Shardul Thakur was the best bowler on the park, taking four wickets for 26 from his four overs, including two wickets in the last over as Sri Lanka's innings fizzled out.
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Vijay Shankar (1/30), Yuzvendra Chahal (1/34) and Jaydev Unadkat (1/33) also accounted for a wicket each. But he came on and picked the wicket to stem the run flow.
Kusal cantered to his second consecutive half-century in the series, registering a 74 off just 48 deliveries with eight fours and two hits which went over the rope. Dasun Shanaka added 19 runs off 16 balls with a four and a six.