India clinched their seventh Asia Cup title after winning a last-ball thriller against Bangladesh by three wickets.
Kedar Jadhav and Kuldeep Yadav held their nerve to take India to a thrilling three-wicket victory in the Asia Cup final in Dubai on Friday. The win also shattered Bangladesh’s dream of winning their maiden Asia Cup title while the Rohit Sharma-led Indian side clinched the prestigious title for a record seven times.
Chasing a modest 223-run target, India lost wickets at regular intervals to make the contest unpredictable, thanks to a disciplined Bangladesh bowling attack. However, in a match going down the wire, Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar’s rose to the occasion and strung a crucial 45-run partnership for the sixth wicket.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started the proceedings well as India raced away to 35 runs in 4.3 overs, but the joy was shortlived as left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam produced the first breakthrought for Bangladesh.
Dhawan, while trying to go over Nazmul’s head, gave an easy catch to Soumya Sarkar at mid-off. With just the addition of another 11 runs, India received another blow as incoming batsman Ambati Rayudu fell cheaply off a Mashrafe Mortaza delivery, leaving India at 46/2.
Rohit and Dinesh Karthik then tried to put things in control as they took their side near the three-digit mark. But, just when the Indian skipper was two runs away from his half-century, Rubel Hossain handed another jolt to the opponents, dismissing a good-looking Rohit to leave the Men in Blue reeling at 83/3.
Karthik was then joined by MS Dhoni and they rebuilt the innings with a 55-run stand for the fourth wicket. Just when the partnership was getting threatening, off-spinner Mahmudullah struck to add another twist in the tale, packing off Karthik as India’s scorecard read 137/4.
Mustafizur Rahman put India in deep trouble when he dismissed MS Dhoni for 36 runs, a few overs later. Dhoni’s thick edge off the bat landed in the gloves of Mushfiqur Rahim in the 37th over before Jadhav left the field due to an injury with India still 56 runs away from victory.
However, with India just 11 runs away from their seventh Asia Cup title, Jadeja fell to Hossain in the 48th over. His dismissal saw Jadhav making his way to the pitch once again. The match went in Bangladesh’s favour as Bhuvneshwar, while trying to drive a delivery by Mustafizur Rahman, was caught brilliantly by stumper Rahim. But then Jadhav and Kedar guided India home in a match which went to the final ball.