India win last-ball thriller against Bangladesh to claim seventh Asia Cup

 

India win last-ball thriller against Bangladesh to claim seventh Asia Cup
Indian players celebrate with the Asia Cup trophy after beating Bangladesh in the final.

Dubai - Men In Blue edge past Tigers by three wickets in scintillating final

By James Jose

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Published: Sun 30 Sep 2018, 12:39 AM

A scintillating display of fireworks lit up the dark sky over the 'Ring of Fire,' to bring the curtains down on the Asia Cup, but the cricket failed to provide the pyrotechnics on the night though.

There was no slam, bang, wallop. It was more of a grind, attritional rather. But what India and Bangladesh did serve up was a nerve-wracking, heart-pounding and tense finish to the finale.

And India nosed past the tape off the very final ball to lay their hands on a seventh Asia Cup at a packed Dubai International Cricket Stadium, six minutes before midnight.

India won by three wickets to add to the titles they won in 1984, 1988, 1990-91, 1995, 2010 and 2016.

The Asia Cup was meant to be an audition, an experiment of the Indian middle-order and if this was any evidence, it can safely be said that those slots to the World Cup in Old Blighty next year are not locked just yet.

The Indian openers - captain Rohit Sharma and his deputy Shikhar Dhawan have been in such cracking form in this tournament that the middle-order was more or less never called upon. The only occasions they were when India played Hong Kong and in the dead rubber against Afghanistan.

But with Rohit and Dhawan picked off rather quickly by Bangladesh, this was to be the ideal test. But the middle order looked a tad shaky and after former captain MS Dhoni followed Dinesh Karthik back and Kedar Jadhav was again troubled by his right hamstring and had to retire hurt, the chase could have gone haywire.

But Ravindra Jadeja, the late call-up, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar kept their head together to take them close before Jadhav returned and joined Kuldeep Yadav to take them through.

Earlier, Bangladesh had gate-crashed the party alright and almost showed they were worth their salt by having India by the scruff of the neck. But, in a stunning role reversal, India did the same to the Bangla Tigers.

Bangladesh had promised a total in excess of 300 after being invited to take first strike, but the Indian bowlers reined the opposition in, restricting them to 222.

Appearances in big finals have been few and far between for Bangladesh and the inexperienced showed, as after a rocketing start where they had the wheels on to race to 120 for no wicket, Bangladesh spluttered, losing all their 10 wickets for the addition of 102 runs.

Amidst the journey from brilliance to going bust, the only bright spot was recalled opener Liton Das working his way to his maiden century in any format.

Liton, whose previous highest score was 41 against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi last week, showed resilience in scoring 121 from 117 deliveries with 12 boundaries and two sixes.

It was rather unfortunate to see Liton, selected in the squad in place of Anamul Haque, play that lone big hand as everything else tumbled into a freefall once part-time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav came on and finally turned the keys.

Up until then, Bangladesh had made Indian captain Rohit Sharma almost rue his decision to bowl first in the searing 46 degree heat.

His opposite number Mashrafe Mortaza made an out-of-the box left-field decision by sending young off-spinner Mehidy Hasan to partner Liton.

And that seemed to have worked a wonder as Liton and Mehidy put the skates on as Bangladesh raced away.

Their resolute batting seemed to have put the Indian bowling attack off kilter and a repeat of 'Hong Kong' loomed. What also loomed was a 300 plus score and the highest total in Asia Cup history.

The highest has been 285 which India had made against Hong Kong and for more than a while it seemed like that was under imminent threat.

As the sun began to disappear, panic began to set in but Jadhav came to India's rescue by making the inroad.

james@khaleejtimes.com

Tigers checked

Bangladesh

L Das st Dhoni b Yadav 121

M Hasan c Rayudu b Jadhav 32

I Kayes lbw b Chahal 2

M Rahim c Bumrah b Jadhav 5

M Mithun run out 2

M Riyad c Bumrah b Yadav 4

S Sarkar run out 33

M Mortaza st Dhoni b Yadav 7

N Islam run out 7

Mr Rahman not out 2

R Hossain b Bumrah 0

Extras: (lb2, w5) 7

Total: (all out; 48.3 overs) 222

Fall: 1-120, 2-128, 3-137, 4-139, 5-151, 6-188, 7-196, 8-213, 9-222; 10-222

Bowling: Kumar 7-0-33-0 (1w), Bumrah 8.3-0-39-1 (2w), Chahal 8-1-31-1(1w), Yadav 10-0-45-3, Jadeja 6-0-31-0, Jadhav 9-0-41-2(1w)

India

R Sharma c N Islam b R Hossain 48

S Dhawan c S Sarkar b N Islam 15

A Rayudu c M Rahim b M Mortaza 2

K Karthik lbw b Mahmudullah 37

M Dhoni c M Rahim b M Rahman 36

M Jadhav retired hurt 19

R Jadeja c M Rahim b R Hossain 23

B Kumar c M Rahim b M Rahman 21

K Yadav not out 5

Extras (b 1, lb 7, w 5) 13

Total (For 7 wkts, 50 Overs) 223

Fall: 1-35, 2-46, 3-83, 4-137, 5-160, 5-167, 6-212, 7-214

Bowling: Mehidy Hasan 4-0-27-0; Mustafizur Rahman 10-0-38-2; Nazmul Islam 10-0-56-1; Mashrafe Mortaza 10-0-35-1; Rubel Hossain 10-2-26-2; Mahmudullah 6-0-33-1

  • Asia Cup 2019


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