India Beat Bangladesh in a Last Ball Thriller to Win Seventh Asia Cup Title

Asia Cup final, Dubai
Bangladesh 222 (48.3 overs): Das 121 (117), Kuldeep 3-45
India 223-7 (50 overs): Rohit 48, Karthik 37
India won by three wickets



India retained the Asia Cup with a three-wicket win off the last ball against a fighting Bangladesh who were anchored by a maiden hundred from opener Liton Das in Dubai on Friday.

India made heavy weather of a modest 223-run target as Bangladesh fought for every run before the title holders achieved victory off the last ball watched by a capacity 25,000 holiday crowd at Dubai stadium.

Although it wasn’t a third India-Pakistan Asia Cup meeting within a 10-day period, Bangladesh’s spirited entry into the summit clash promised a gun fight of a final. Mortaza’s side brought out the right weapons to the battle, not the metaphorical knife, and struck telling blows.
But they ran out of ammunition in the end with the bat, and despite a superb show with the ball, suffered their third loss in the final of a multi-national tournament against India in as many attempts.
Led by Liton Das’s 117-ball 121 in his 120-run opening partnership with Mehidy Hasan, Bangladesh appeared to race away to an imposing total.However, India did well to pull things back after the first 20 overs, conceding only 106 runs in the next 28.3 overs while picking up all ten wickets as Bangladesh, who had emptied their clips even before the half-way stage of their innings, brought a collapse upon themselves.
Bangladesh did a terrific job in their bid to defend 222, taking it until the final delivery before India prevailed in the battle of nerves to secure the title for the seventh time in 14 editions.
With their settled opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, India were expected to run away with victory, like they did in the previous matches but Bangladesh were not ready to give up without a fight.

Dhawan was dismissed for 15 and Sharma for a punishing 55-ball 48, studded with three sixes and as many boundaries.

Dinesh Karthik (37) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (36) added 54 for the fourth wicket but once both were dismissed Bangladesh looked like pulling off an upset.

Ravindra Jadeja (23) and Bhuvenshwar Kumar (21) brought the target within India’s reach through a 45-run stand for the sixth wicket but Bangladesh removed them both with eight runs still needed.

India then required six off the last over and one off the final delivery which came as a leg-bye. Kedar Jadhav finished with 23 not out.

India won the Asia Cup – under a Twenty20 format – in Bangladesh in 2016.

Friday’s result meant Bangladesh lost in a second Asia Cup final after coming up just short by two runs in the 2012 final against Pakistan at home.

Earlier Bangladesh lost all their wickets for 102 runs in a major middle order collapse after a brisk opening stand of 120.

Hasan was promoted to open the innings and he and Das attacked India’s pace-cum spin attack.

But once Hasan was caught off Jadhav in the 21st over the innings collapsed with Bangladesh losing four more wickets by the time the score reached 151.

Hasan hit three boundaries in his 59-ball 32 while Soumya Sarkar made a 45-ball 33 with a boundary and a six.

Former captain Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored 144 and 99 earlier in the tournament, also hold out off Jadhav who finished with 2-41. Rahim made just five.

Bangladesh’s cause was not helped by three run-outs while left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav returned with the best figures of 3-45.