Dhawan takes India to 174
Colombo: Shikhar Dhawan continued his fine run in limited overs format, smashing 90 off 49 balls as India shrugged off a poor start to post a competitive 174 for four against Sri Lanka in the Nidahas T20 Trophy opener here on Tuesday.
Dhawan hammered six sixes and as many fours in an entertaining effort which came after the early loss of captain Rohit Sharma (0) and Suresh Raina (1).
Rohit fell to a specular backward running catch from Jeevan Mendis off Dushmantha Chameera on the fourth ball of the innings.
It became nine for two as Raina saw his timber rattled off a full toss from Nuwan Pradeep after he backed away outside the leg stump and exposed all three stumps. The southpaw, who made a comeback in the previous series against South Africa, fell victim to a careless shot on only the third ball he faced.
Dhawan then gave the innings a much needed move on with the help of Manish Pandey (37 off 35) as they shared a 95-run stand.
The stylish left-hander also had luck on his side enroute to his fifth T20 half century as a top edge off consecutive balls sailed over the boundary ropes. Sri Lanka bowlers too helped the Indian team's cause by offering way too many loose balls.
Dhawan got into the act with back-to-back fours off Pradeep in the fifth over before top-edging him over the wicketkeeper and long leg for consecutive sixes in the ninth over. By the end of 10 overs, India had recovered to 80 for two.
The opener kept toying with the opposition attack and was well on his way to a maiden hundred in T20 Internationals. However, he fell in the 18th over off spinner Danushka Gunathilaka while attempting to hit another one out of the park.
Rishabh Pant, who came out to bat five ahead of Dinesh Karthik, scored a run-a-ball 23 . Karthik came up with two handy fours in the final over, ending with 13 off six balls.
India, who have picked a second string squad for the tournament, were put in to bat by Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal. All-rounder Vijay Shankar were handed his India cap by Ravi Shastri before the start of the game.
Chasing the target, the Lankans got off to a strong start. However, they lost Kusal Mendis early (11) when the scoreboard read 12. The newcomer Kusal Perera (66) built a 58-run stand with opener Danushka Gunathilaka (19), who was removed when the score read 70. Dinesh Chandimal soon followed him.