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.
India rode on Shikhar Dhawan's brilliant 90 off 49 deliveries to drive India to 174 for the loss of five wickets. However, Dhawan's knock went in vain as India failed to get past the 200-run mark as the lower-order struggled to fire.
Pant in particularly was found wanting as the wicket-keeper struggled, scoring a run-a-ball 23. Pant, who has been touted as a replacement for Dhoni couldn't provide the late flourish as Dhoni fans had a field day.
Also, it’s incredible to see how many people are happy with Rishabh Pant not having a great game. Imagine if the world wanted you to fail when you were 20. #SLvIND- Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 6, 2018
174 may even be enough but India shouldn't be happy with it. When one player makes 90 in 8 overs, you want to be scoring 185-190. Been a learning day again for young Rishabh Pant in international cricket.- Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 6, 2018
23 runs of 23 balls in a T20 with a strike rate of 100. Dhoni should retire.Arre sorry ye to Rishabh Pant hai.Long way to go for this young lad.#SLvIND-Neelkanth (@neelkanthh9) March 6, 2018
#NidahasTrophy Rishabh Pant - Ye Hain Dhoni Ke Replacement Bhai This Is Not IPl . #SLvIND- Prakash Singh (@Im_Prakash06) March 6, 2018
God Forbid but if Dhoni would have played this kind of run a ball innings, people would have termed it as Test Innings in a T20. But now since it is Rishabh Pant, we can all chill. #INDvSL #NidahasTrophy- Abbas Haider (@abbas_haiderr) March 6, 2018
Imagine Dhoni playing a Rishabh Pant like innings, and we would have had legends like Agarkar and Manjrekar asking for his retirement! Well, that’s also because, people notice such experts only with such comments. Not that Pant is not good. #IndvSL-Nikhil Kharoo (@nkharoo) March 6, 2018
Rishabh Pant is a highly overrated cricketer..and they see him as a successor of Dhoni..huh..#INDvSL #SLvIND #Colombo #NidahasTrophy #NidahasTrophy2018-Aditya Acharya (@aadiacharya) March 6, 2018
So how many will blame Rishabh Pant for today-s loss Like they do always with MS Dhoni . This guy need to work on his fitness . #SLvIND-Bhupesh Dave (@Bhupesh_live) March 6, 2018
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.
Towards the end, Dasun Shanaka (15 not out) and Thisara Perera (22 not out) played sensibly and helped their team clinch the issue.Inputs: IANS