4 things that Sri Lanka did right in the 1st T20I against India
Sri Lanka won the first T20I of the Nidahas Trophy quite convincingly, courtesy of a great knock by Kusal Perera, who took the game away from the visitors in the first six overs itself.
On a flat deck at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, the Men in Blue posted a decent total of 174 on the board and thus, would have fancied their chances at the halfway mark. Dhawan continued his good form from the South Africa series and played a belligerent knock of 90. He smashed the bowlers all around the park and made sure that India posted a decent total on the board.
The Lankans had a great start to their innings with Kusal Perera going after everything. The runs came at a rate on knots, and the game went totally in the favour of the hosts before Rohit Sharma could even react to the situation. The Indian skipper looked helpless in the middle as runs leaked from both the ends and the inexperienced bowlers had no answer to Perera's big hitting.
The visitors made some late strikes to get back into the game, but with the required run-rate around six runs an over, there was no pressure on the lower middle order, and the hosts went on to win the game by five wickets.
The Sri Lankan team, under the newly appointed coach, Chandika Hathurusingha, certainly looked a different unit compared to the last time they played against India in November last year. Hathurusingha is someone who is known to inject a lot of positivity inside the players, and he inspires them to play attacking cricket. After serving the Bangladesh cricket team for 3 years, he'll now be looking forward to having a good run with the Lankans as well.
Let's take a look at the things that Sri Lanka did right in the first T20I:
# Wicket Taking Mindset
Dushmantha Chameera and Nuwan Pradeep bowled a superb spell with the new ball, getting rid of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina up front, which restrained the Indians from taking full advantage of the field restrictions. Jeevan Mendis took a magnificent catch at mid-off, running backwards, to dismiss skipper Rohit Sharma, who wanted to clear the field and break the shackles.
It was a bit of a double bluff for Raina as the Lankans had a leg gully as well as a deep backward square-leg for him. Raina made room for himself towards the off-side, anticipating a bouncer, and Pradeep outsmarted him by bowling one right at the stumps, thus breaking the wood work. These two early wickets made India grind to some extent, instead of going big from the very beginning.