DUBAI - Dasun Shanaka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa steered Sri Lanka to a nail-biting six-wicket victory over India after openers Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis set the tone in their Asia Cup match on Tuesday. 

Bhanuka Rajapaksa (25 not out) and Dasun Shanaka (33 not out) forged a 64-year partnership for the fifth wicket to skip Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, Kosal Mendes was Sri Lanka’s top scorer with 57 points. Pathum Nissanka has also helped the team’s cause with his 52 ways. For India, Yuzvendra Chahal was the bowler’s pick with numbers of 3 against 34. 

Earlier, India scored 173 for 8 on the board, thanks to Rohit Sharma’s 72 hit 41 hit. The fifties of the flamboyant Rohit Sharma set a solid platform for India but the side failed to achieve most of it as Sri Lanka rushed the spurs at regular intervals after the departure of the Indian captain. Dilshan Madushanka claimed three wickets, while Chamika Karunaratne and Dasun Shanaka claimed two wickets each. Sri Lanka captain Chanaka won the toss and chose to run first in the match.

Sharing his views during the post-match talk, player of the match Dasun Shanaka said: “The confidence in the dressing room is great. The bowlers in patches, they bowled well. Credit to Dilshan and Theekshana, they bowled really well. The batters came out against them, but we did well. 

“We had good discussions after the first game, and we know what we can do. Pathum and Kusal set the tone brilliantly, and Rajapaksa and I set up the chase. [On him not bowling much] It’s due to the team combination, so I haven’t been bowling my quota. I need to take the best decision the team needs,” he added. 

Kusal Mendis, who set the tone of the chase with a 37-ball 57, said: “Very happy. Pathum and I had a good start and then Rajapaksa and Shanaka had an amazing, probably this tournament’s best partnership. The right-left hand combination worked for us. I worked hard in Sri Lanka, and the coaches told me to play the normal game, take singles, hit the fours or six. That’s helped us get success. We tried to find the gap, and that’s the option we went for. We played our normal game. We have power hitters in the middle. My role is to play my normal game in the first six overs.”

Scores in brief

SRI LANKA 174 for 4 (Mendis 57, Nissanka 52, Chahal 3-34) beat INDIA 173 for 8 (Rohit 72, Madushanka 3-24) by six wickets.