His counter-part Kushal Perera, however, sparkled as he led his team to victory scoring 68 from 37 balls.
13 wickets for Yuzvendra Chahal, joint-most in India-Sri Lanka T20Is.
Dhawan slammed a brilliant 49-ball 90 and in the process notched up his highest Twenty20 worldwide score to propel India to 174 for the loss of five wickets.
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India was looking in precarious situation at 9/2, when Dhawan and Manish Pandey stitched together a 95-run partnership for the third wicket which established India to a dominating position at 104/2. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will also miss their skipper Angelo Mathews and Asela Gunaratne due to injury.
The matches in the tournament will be played under the lights at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lakna.
"They took two wickets in the first two overs - that's the damage they did to us", Dhawan said.
Dhawan thrived under pressure and played his career-best inning of 90 runs off only 49 balls and decorated his knock with 6 fours and 6 sixes.
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After the Indian batsmen put up a decent target of 175, their bowlers failed to make a mark as the hosts hammered the bowlers all around the park.
India got off to a bad start as Dushmantha Chameera removed captain Rohit Sharma for a duck off the fourth ball of the first over. The kind of start they got was unbelievable.
Bangladesh's captain, Mahmudullah, urged his team-mates to focus on their strengths and not think too much about whether this was a second-string Indian team they were playing against in the Nidahas Trophy.
It became nine for two as Raina saw his timber rattled off a full toss from Nuwan Pradeep after he backed away outside the leg-stump. Having seen the wicket here - it was flat - I thought we could have accelerated towards the end. "If at all there is any update on the same we shall notify", the BCCI said in a statement on Tuesday. "What we can do is play some good cricket on that particular day, if we can do so, execute our skills, hopefully we can do something good".
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