Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik added an unbeaten 68 for the fifth wicket to help India register their second win in the Nidahas T20I tri-series in Colombo on Monday.
Chasing 153 to win in 19 overs, India were in a spot of bother at 85/4 in the 10th over but Pandey (42) and Karthik (39) battted with conviction to dissipate all doubts as the Indians avenged their defeat in the opening game of the tri-series on March 6.
India started badly and by the end of the fourth over of their chase they were two wickets down with Rohit Sharma (11) and the in-form Shikhar Dhawan (8) back in the dug-out. Suresh Raina looked good during his stay but couldn't go beyond 27 runs.
And then KL Rahul (18) got out in one of the most unfortunate manners as he became the first Indian to get out hit-wicket in the shortest format of the game.
Rahul played back to a Jeeven Mendis delivery looking for a single on the legside when his back foot disrupted the stumps. Rahul and Pandey had added 23 runs for the fourth wicket when this uncommon incident happened.
Only nine players before had got out in that fashion in T20Is.
At the time of Rahul's departure, things looked gloomy in the Indian camp and another defeat against Sri Lanka stared them in the face. But Pandey and Karthik had other ideas and batted convincingly to take the team home in 17.3 overs with six wickets in hand.
Earlier in the day, after rain reduced the match to 19 overs per side and Rohit elected to bowl, medium pacer Shardul Thakur picked up a career-best 4/27, including back-to-back wickets in the last over, to help India restict the hosts to 152/9.
The Lankans were at one time on course for a big score at 96/2 in 10.3 overs when Vijay Shankar removed Upul Tharanga for 22. The complexion of the Sri Lankan innings changed in the blink of an eye thereafter.
The 62-run third-wicket stand between Kusal Mendis (55 off 38 balls) and Tharanga had given the hosts a lot of hope but with the departure of Tharanga the Indian bowlers got back in charge of the proceedings.
Sri Lanka, who were playing in this match without their regular captain Dinesh Chandimal, suspended on account of a slow over-rate offence against Bangladesh in Match 3, had Dasun Shanaka's 19 off 16 balls plenty to thank for taking them past the 150-run mark.
Washington Sundar was the second best Indian bowler on the evening as he returned 2/21 in his four overs. Jaydev Unadkat, Yuzvendra Chahal and Shankar took one wicket each.