Dambulla:Thissara Perera produced a devastating spell of seam bowling to scalp five wickets as India were bundled out for a paltry 103 in a crucial cricket tri-series match against Sri Lanka here on Sunday.
The 21-year-old Perera (5/28) ripped through the Indian middle order with a fine exhibition of swing bowling while the other pacemen Lasith Malinga (2/21) and Nuwan Kulasekara (2/31) also chipped in to completely leave the Indians in a daze.
Only Yuvraj Singh provided a semblance of resistance with a gritty 38 as the the Indian batsmen succumbed tamely in just 33.4 overs on what appeared to be a spongy two-paced track at the Rangiri Dambulla International stadium.
After the furore of the no-ball incident in the past few days, the Sri Lankans seemed all charged up for the must-win game and Dhoni's decision to bat first after winning the toss completely backfired.
It was a shocking capitulation by the visitors who simply had no clue on how to handle the Lankan speedsters who generated a fair amount of pace.
Electing to bat, the Indians never really recovered from a poor start as wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals with the hosts exploiting the overcast conditions well.
Paceman Nuwan Kulasekara struck the first blow by getting rid of dangerman Virender Sehwag, who was stranded on 99 in the last match after Suraj Randiv deliberately bowled a no-ball to spark off a major controversy.
Sehwag was trapped leg before wicket to Kulasekara's sharp inswinger and umpire Kumar Dharmasena had no hesitation in giving him out. The Indian opener was not too happy with the decision as he walked back to the pavillion.
Dinesh Karthik, who has struggled to find form right through the series, was the next man to be dismissed with Kulasekara doing the damage again.
Karthik edged the ball to captain and wicketkeeper Kumar Sangakkara who was standing close to the stumps to prevent the batsman from walking down and negating the swing.
With India struggling at 26 for two, Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh tried to steady the innings by playing cautiously against the Sri Lankan speedsters who bowled a disciplined line and length.
Rohit Sharma, who has also been struggling to find form, could not hang around for long, as Angelo Mathews plotted his dismissal with a gem of an inswinger which trapped the batsman plumb in front of the wicket.
Soon Suresh Raina joined him in the pavilion as he fell prey to Perera and the Indians were in the doldrums at a precarious 61 for four in the 18th over.
Perera struck again a few overs later by removing Dhoni who edged the ball to Sangakkara behind the stumps. The ball held its line enough to get the edge and Sangakkara made no mistake.
Perera then removed Ravindra Jadeja for a nine-ball duck and dismissed Praveen Kumar in the very first ball with Tharanga latching on to a simple catch at mid-off.
Yuvraj, who returned to the team after being laid low by a mild dengue, was the only batsmen who seemed comfortable in the middle as wickets kept falling at the other end.
Running out of partners, the stylish left hander picked up Perera for special treatment clobbering him for a boundary and a six to take India close to the hundred mark.