Pace bowler Suranga Lakmal was the standout as Sri Lanka steamrolled India by seven wickets in the first one-day international in Dharamsala on Sunday.
The 30-year-old claimed 4-13 as the tourists bundled out India for 112 in 38.2 overs at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.
India were reeling at 5-16 and 7-29 before Mahendra Singh Dhoni struck a belligerent 65, with the former captain contributing more than half of the team total.
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Their 16 runs was their lowest total for five wickets in ODI history.
Sri Lanka's top order were not completely convincing against the moving ball but Upul Tharanga's breezy 49 helped them chase down the small target with nearly 30 overs to spare and go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
Smarting from their 1-0 loss in the preceding Test series, Sri Lanka opted to field against an Indian team led by Rohit Sharma in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli who has been rested ahead of the team's imminent tour of South Africa.
Absolutely thrashed. Image: Twitter
India got off to a terrible start losing Shikhar Dhawan, one of their five scoreless batsmen in the match, in the second over which triggered a spectacular collapse.
Angelo Mathews, an all-rounder who has been reduced by injury to an occasional bowler, dismissed Dhawan leg-before and Lakmal sent back Sharma caught behind for two in the fifth.
On both occasions, Sri Lanka used the review option to overturn the original not out decisions.
The double blow completely unhinged India, who lost the top half of their batting order to score their first 16 runs.
Dhoni combined with No.9 Kuldeep Yadav (19) to help India first go past the record for lowest ODI total of 35 - by Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka in a 2004 match in Harare - and then their own lowest total of 54 against the Sri Lankans.
Dhoni hit 10 boundaries and a couple of sixes but India still ended up with a total which Sri Lanka overcame without breaking a sweat.
Mohali hosts the second ODI on Wednesday.