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Kusal Perera's brilliant 66 off 37 balls and some crucial contributions from the middle-order helped Sri Lanka beat India by five wickets in the opening match of the Nidahas Trophy Twenty20 International (T20I) cricket tri-series here on Tuesday.
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After the Indian batsmen put up a decent target of 175, their bowlers failed to make a mark as the hosts hammered the bowlers all around the park. Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (2/37) and Washington Sundar (2/28) provided the crucial breakthroughs to control the run-flow.
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Chasing 175, Sri Lanka got off to a bad start, losing opener Kusal Mendis (11) in the second over of the innings. But Danushka Gunathilaka (19) and in-form Perera forged a crucial 58-runs partnership which saw some brilliant strokeplay.
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Earlier, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan cracked 90 off 49 deliveries to drive India to 174 for five. The left-hander struck six fours and equal number of sixes, while scoring his fifth T20I fifty as he shared a crucial 95-run third-wicket stand with Manish Pandey (37 off 35) to take the visitors to a strong total.
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Brief scores: India: 174/5 (Shikhar Dhawan 90, Manish Pandey 37; Dushmantha Chameera 2/33, Danushka Gunathilaka 1/16) vs Sri Lanka: 175/5 (Kusal Perera 66; Washington Sundar 2/28).