Mahela Jayawardene cracked a responsible half-century to guide Sri Lanka to a crushing eight-wicket victory over India in the first one-day international here on Monday.
The Sri Lankan skipper scored an unbeaten 61 for his 47th half-century to help his team achieve a modest 147-run target with more than 15 overs to spare for a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
The victory was set up by man-of-the-match Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan, who exposed India's batting limitations against spin.
Unorthodox spinner Mendis took 3-21 and off-spinner Muralitharan 3-37 as India were bundled out for 146 after electing to bat on a slow track.
"We knew if we picked early wickets we could control the Indian batting line-up. The wicket had something in it for bowlers," said Jayawardene.
"The important thing is to play to your strength. I am happy with the way we are doing at the moment. It was an all-round performance with everybody chipping in, but we need to keep working hard."
Sri Lanka lost opener Sanath Jayasuriya (10) and Kumar Sangakkara (19) in seamer Munaf Patel's opening spell, but Jayawardene and Chamara Kapugedera (45 not out) ensured the win with a 102-run stand for the third wicket.
Jayawardene hit seven fours in his 82-ball knock and Kapugedera four boundaries in his 72-ball innings.
India were let down by their batsmen as none could get past 25 in a spineless display against a disciplined Sri Lankan pace-spin combination. Yuvraj Singh was the top scorer with 23.
The tourists suffered a setback even before the first ball had been bowled as in-form opener Virender Sehwag was ruled out of the match due to an ankle injury, sustained during a practice session on Sunday evening.
"Our bowlers did well, but we never had enough runs to defend," said India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"I would have liked to bowl first, but now that it's gone you cannot do anything about it."
Sri Lanka's new-ball bowlers Nuwan Kulasekara and Chaminda Vaas did the early damage when they shared three wickets in the opening 12 overs to leave the tourists reeling at 36-3.
Left-arm seamer Vaas gave his team a dream start when he dismissed opener Gautam Gambhir with the second delivery of the match, which moved in sharply to knock back the off-stump.
He is now one short of becoming the fourth bowler to complete 400 wickets in one-day internationals.
Kulasekara (2-23) trapped debutant Virat Kohli (12) leg-before and then got rid of Suresh Raina (17), who drove straight to Chamara Silva in the covers.
Mendis, who took six wickets for 13 runs in his team's win over India in the Asia Cup final in Karachi last month, continued to trouble Dhoni's side as he took two big wickets in his opening spell.
His first victim was Yuvraj, who inside-edged a delivery onto his stumps after smashing the bowler for a six over long-on in the same over.
Yuvraj, dropped on five by Jayawardene at second slip off Kulasekara, could not cash in on the chance, adding just 18 more runs before falling in Mendis's opening over.
Mendis then removed Dhoni, a stroke-playing batsman like Yuvraj, to make sure the tourists could not get a foothold in the match. Dhoni (six) was caught by Jayawardene at lone slip while trying to cut.
The lower-order batsmen found Muralitharan too hot to handle as India failed to bat their quota of 50 overs despite a fighting last-wicket stand between Pragyan Ojha (16 not out) and Patel (15).
The second one-dayer of the five-match series will be played here on Wednesday.