India on Saturday defeated Bangladesh by three wickets in a nail-biting last ball encounter to bag the Asia Cup title at the Dubai International Stadium.
After being asked to bat first by India, Bangladesh could only manage to post 222 at the scoreboard thanks to opener Liton Das’ thunderous 121 runs from just 117 balls.
However, no other player in the Bangladesh side could manage to play long inning – Mehidy Hasan Miraz (32) and Soumya Sarkar (33) – as most of them fall flat in front of the power-packed Indian bowling lineup.
Spinner Kuldeep Yadav led the Indian bowling lineup with three wickets for just 45 runs. He was provided strong support by Kedar Jadhav (2/41), Yuzvendra Chahal (1/31) and Jasprit Bumrah (1/39). Bangladesh started off strongly in the game as openers Liton Das and Mehidy Hasan Miraz posted a 100-plus partnership.
Opener Dhawan (15) got out at the score of 35. He was followed by Ambati Rayudu, who only managed to add two runs before falling off to Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza at the score of 46. India’s stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma (48), MS Dhoni (36) and Dinesh Karthik (37) later took India close to the target, however, none of them could manage to stay for a longer time. After Kedar Jadhav got retired hurt at the score of 5/167, it was a small yet highly needful partnership between Ravindra Jadeja (23) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (21) that brought momentum towards the Indian side.
India required 6 runs to win in the last over. Singles were taken off the first two balls. Then came a double, a dot ball and a single leaving India with 1 run to win off the last ball. Jadhav pushed it fine coolly and took India home.
Post winning, Man of the Series Shikhar Dhawan said, “Really enjoyed this tournament. Fantastic final, and really good tournament for myself. Enjoyed my batting and want to continue this way. England tour has helped me become mature, and I was playing more balanced in this tournament. Want to remain consistent. Helps to have Rohit as the partner. His consistency at the top matters for me as well. He plays the aggressor’s role, sometimes I do. And he too had a great Asia Cup.”
Liton Das was the man of the match for his incredible 121 runs. It is one of those rare moments when a player from the losing team is man of the match but there is little argument about it.
This is India’s seventh Asia Cup win
(Featured image: India Today)