Despite losing the ODI series, Sri Lanka have shown improvement from their England tour. After India comprehensively won the first ODI, both the bowling and batting departments of the home team put on better performances in the second and third ODIs to push Shikhar Dhawan's men to the limit.
Dasun Shanaka's side will now enter the T20I series with some momentum. They gained some confidence by winning the third ODI on Friday. Sri Lanka will now face the visitors in their first T20 match, which will be held today at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Sri Lanka have faced India in 19 T20I matches so far. They have won only five contests and lost on 13 occasions, and their recent record against India is rather poor. In the last 12 contests against Team India, Sri Lanka have emerged victorious in only one match.
Dasun Shanaka and Co. will be hoping to overturn this lop-sided record and pick up a string of victories against India in the upcoming series.
March 6, 2018: Kusal Perera's blazing knock helped Sri Lanka to chase down 175 against India in the first match of Nidahas Trophy
The R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo was the venue for Sri Lanka's last victory against India in T20I cricket. It was the first match of the Nidahas trophy, in which Sri Lanka, India, and Bangladesh battled in a tri-nation T20 series. Virat Kohli decided to sit out the series, which meant Rohit Sharma led Team India in the regular skipper's absence.
Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal won the toss and opted to field in the contest. Dushmantha Chameera (2/33) dismissed Rohit Sharma for a duck and gave the home team a great start. After the loss of an early wicket, Shikhar Dhawan (90) took the initiative and anchored the innings to take India to a decent first innings total.
Manish Pandey (37), Dinesh Karthik (13 in 6 balls), and Rishabh Pant (23) played supporting roles in the middle-order. On the back of 90 from Shikhar Dhawan, India reached 174/5 after 20 overs.
The Sri Lankan openers perished early in reply, but Kusal Perera (66) played a magnificent knock at No.3 to help his team chase down the target in 18.3 overs. Thisara Perera (22 in 10 balls) played a useful cameo to provide the finishing touches to the chase.