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Sri Lanka’s aggressive powerplay decided the game vs India: Kusal Perera

Kusal Perera, who blasted 66 off 37 balls and won the Man of the Match award, said Sri Lanka’s 75 runs in the six overs of powerplay decided the game against India in the Nidahas Trophy 2018 Twenty20 tri-series.

cricket Updated: Mar 07, 2018 11:11 IST
India vs Sri Lanka,Nidahas Trophy,Kusal Perera
Sri Lanka's cricketer Kusal Perera (R) plays a shot as India's wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik looks on during the opening Twenty20 international cricket match between of the Nidahas Trophy tri-nation Twenty20 tournament at the R Premadasa stadium in Colombo on Tuesday.(AFP)

Kusal Perera’s rousing 66 off 37 balls in their pursuit of 175 against India in the opening game of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 Twenty20 tri-series at the R Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday helped the hosts snap their seven-game losing streak in style. Such was Perera’s blitz that Sri Lanka scored 75 runs in the powerplay. (HIGHLIGHTS)

Speaking after the end of the match, Perera said the contrasting performances of India and Sri Lanka in the powerplay phase is what decided the match. “India scored only 40 in the powerplay and Sri Lanka managed 75 that decided the game. When you get that kind of start it is easier for the innings to progress smoothly. But you don’t get that kind of start every game. First six overs had a great impact on the game,” Perera said.

Sri Lanka chose to bowl and restricted India to just 40 runs in the powerplay overs, getting the prized wickets of Rohit Sharma (0) and Suresh Raina (1). It took Shikhar Dhawan’s brilliant 90 to help India reach 174/5.

Kusal in great form

Perera’s 66 continued his great run ever since his comeback to the Sri Lankan team following a string of injuries. Heading into the match, the left-hander had scored 43 and 64 for Colts Cricket Club against Galle Cricket Club and Sri Lanka Ports Authority Cricket Club.

The 27-year-old said he was high on confidence heading into this game. “I had several injuries in the last several months. But, I had played a few domestic games and I had done well. So I had confidence going into the first match of the competition. After the injury when I returned there were doubts. More than wanting to play a great knock, I wanted to play a good game,” Perera said.

Sri Lanka will next take on Bangladesh at the R Premadasa Stadium on March 10 while India will take on Bangladesh on Thursday.

First Published: Mar 07, 2018 09:55 IST