India win 7th Asia Cup title

Brief Scores:

Bangladesh 222 (48.3)
Liton Das 121
Soumya Sarkar 33
Kuldeep Yadav 3/45
Kedar Jadhav 2/41

India 223/7 (50)
Rohit Sharma 48
Dinesh Karthik 37
Rubel Hossain 2/26
Mustafizur Rahman 2/38

India held-their nerve in a last-ball finish during a topsy-turvy final to win the Asia Cup for a record 7th time at the Dubai International Cricketer on Friday.

India won the toss and opted to chase in the final with five of their big buns returning. Bangladesh on the other end decided to make a big change in their opening combination.

Mehidy Hasan walked out to partner Liton Das, who had a clear intention, to only smash the new ball and push India on the backfoot.

Liton was confidently hitting the ball in the air, picking his spaces and scoring boundaries at will. Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took a beating with India, successfully being pushed on the backfoot.

Rohit introduced early spin which could only contain Mehidy Hasan but Liton Das was going all guns blazing. Bangladesh went past the 100-run mark with Rohit searching for ways to break the stand.

In the 21st over, a frustrated Mehidy sliced a delivery from Jadhav straight to Rayudu at extra cover. Imrul Kayes, batting at number three, was trapped by Yuzvendra Chahal for 2 but Bangladesh suffered their biggest blow when Kedar Jadhav dismissed Mushfiqur Rahim for 5.

Jadeja added to Bangladesh’s misery with a brilliant piece of work and alertness to run Mithun out. Mahmudullah joined Liton Das who had taken a cautious route with wickets falling on the other end.

Mahmudullah blocked a few before finally losing his calm and his wicket to Kuldeep. Bangladesh were suddenly reduced to 151/5 but they had Liton at the other end who got to his first ODI hundred with a single.

Soumya Sarkar and Liton began the rebuilding act but their 37-run stand was broken thanks to some quick glovework from MS Dhoni behind the stumps.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah did not allow Sarkar and the rest to break free in the death, bowling them out for 222.

With 223 to chase, India got to a steady start from Dhawan and Rohit. Dhawan, in particular, was looking in fine form before he threw it away on 15.

Mortaza didn’t bowl with the new ball but got enough movement to force Rayudu’s outside edge. India were suddenly placed at 45/2 but Rohit Sharma was in no mood to give it away.

Bangladesh kept attacking Rohit but he was at ease, pulling the short ball with comfort.

He got stuck for a while batting in the 40s and that is when a Rubel Hossain bouncer deceived him to play a half-hearted pull that went straight to square leg.

India needed a partnership and it came from Dinesh Karthik and MS Dhoni who got together and took their time but bailed India out of potential trouble.

The duo added 54 runs for the fourth wicket from 16 overs but India looked in control until Karthik decided to play across the line to a full-pitched delivery that saw him being trapped plumb.

Kedar Jadhav joined MS Dhoni and made his intentions very clear with a massive six down the ground before a quick-single saw his hamstring problem resurface. The injury-break broke MS Dhoni’s rhythm who was removed by Mustafizur Rahman with India needing 63 from 13.5 overs.

A limping Kedar Jadhav returned retired hurt as Bhuvneshwar Kumar joined Jadeja. Bhuvneshwar Kumar soaked in all the pressure with Jadeja scoring runs from the other end. It came to 26 off the final five overs when Kumar hit a massive six to Rubel Hossain to bring the equation under India’s control.

India needed 11 from 17 balls when Jadeja fell, forcing Jadhav to return to the crease. Kuldeep and Jadhav took it to the last ball from there to seal an Indian victory over Bangladesh in a last-ball thriller.

 


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