Skipper Rohit Sharma led from the front to help India recover from a poor start, but Sri Lanka fought back to restrict India to 173 for eight in the DP World Cup Asia Cup clash at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
Rohit’s 41-ball 72 (5 fours, 4 sixes) and his 97-run partnership with Suryakumar Yadav (34 off 28 balls) put the team back on track after Sri Lanka stunned India with two early wickets,
KL Rahul (6) was the first man to fall when he was ruled out after an appeal for lbw from Maheesh Theekshana as the off-spinner struck in his first over with the new ball.
India suffered a bigger blow when Virat Kohli (0) attempted a big shot over the mid-wicket boundary against left-arm pacer Dilshan Madushanka (3/24) only to miss the line and lose his middle and leg stumps.
Rohit then rebuilt the innings with Yadav before launching his full range of big shots to score his first international half-century in seven innings.
But when India looked set for a very big score, the Sri Lankans hit back and broke the back of the Indian middle order.
Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl as India brought in Ravichandran Ashwin in place of Ravi Bishnoi.
Having lost the previous match to Pakistan by five wickets, India need to win against Sri Lanka to keep their final hopes alive.
India 173-8 in 20 overs (Rohit Sharma 72, Suryakumar Yadav 34; Dilshan Madushanka 3/24, Chamika Karunaratne 2/27) vs Sri Lanka.
Toss: Sri Lanka
The Indian bowlers then struck at regular intervals to bowl Sri Lanka out for 109 in 18.2 overs
The pacer missed Wednesday's opening win over the Proteas and is currently under medical supervision for a stress fracture of the back
The governing body FIA introduced the budget cap, set at $145 million, for the first time last year to make racing more competitive
Pacer's absence from the remaining two T20Is has now thrown more questions than answers at Rohit Sharma's team
It is a perfect opportunity for the players to test their skills ahead of the upcoming Jiu-Jitsu World Championship and Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Opener makes unbeaten 88 after the Pakistan skipper scores 87 not out