The 27-year-old’s superb knock, his 13th Twenty20 international fifty, anchored the innings to help his side, chasing 139, record their third win from as many matches.
India’s decision to bowl looked to be justified as Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya took two wickets apiece to reduce Sri Lanka to 57 for four after 11 overs. But Chamara Kapugedera’s 30 along with a timely lower-order surge helped rescue their innings to finish on 138 for nine.
Despite losing opening pair Shikhar Dhawan, who replaced Ajinkya Rahane in the starting XI, and Rohit Sharma in the first four overs, Suresh Raina and Kohli’s half-century partnership looked to have set India on their way to victory.
Raina would later depart for 25 before Yuvraj Singh hit a blistering 35 from 18 balls before he top-edged to fine-leg to leave India on 121 for four.
Rangana Herath bowled Pandya for two but Kohli hit the winning runs with a four in the last over.
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) March 1, 2016