Mahmudullah balls the final ball of the Asia Cup as it went through to the fine leg boundary after touching Kedar Jadhav’s pads, giving India the final run to claim the seventh Asia Cup. An injured Kedar came back to the crease post Jadeja’s dismissal, to score the remaining 11 odd runs to win the Asia Cup. In a nail-biting finish, India emerged victorious as Bangladesh lost the final for the third time in the history of Asia Cups.
One must say in what was a walk-in-the-park chase, India made it so difficult that it looked at one stage that Bangladesh could steal the title from the grasp of Indians, but couldn’t, courtesy a 52-run stand between Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Once again the Indian Middle order batsmen were asked questions to which they had no answers what so over. Post the dismissals of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, (who had made most of the runs in the recently concluded Asia Cup), the middle order was made to toil hard as Bangladeshi bowlers never let them breathe easily.
India lost two wickets in the form of Shikhar Dhawan and Ambati Rayudu at an early stage of the innings (46-2). The fans weren’t looked stressed though, as the in-form captain was still at the crease. On a flat pitch with no grass, chasing a low total of 220, one would expect from the world-class batting line-up to not get over-excited and make the mess of it.
However, for the first time in the Asia cup, Rohit played a lose shot only to hand a catch to Nazmul Islam off Rubel for 48. The Indian middle order, once again, in a decisive stage of a series was put to test. Former Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Dinesh Kartik put together a well-made partnership of 54 runs but failed to convert into triple figures as Kartik was out plumped leg-before off Mahmudullah’s delivery for 37.
However, India was still cruising with just 70 odd runs needed in 15 overs, before Kedar Jadhav pulled his hamstring, putting pressure on Dhoni who now had to rest on boundaries rather than taking the much-needed singles and doubles. Unfortunately, the pressure had gotten better off him as the 37-year-old batsman nicked a wide delivery to the keeper falling for a well-made 36.
The match could now have gone either way as Jadhav also left the ground owing to his hamstring injury. Interestingly, Ravindra Jadeja with Bhuvneshwar Kumar held their nerves to face the fearless Bangladeshi attack. The Duo got involved in a match-winning partnership of 52 runs off 67 deliveries, before Jadeja edging Rubel’s delivery to the keeper, leaving India with only 11 runs to victory.
Earlier, Bangladeshi openers made a blistering start to the innings, sending bowls to all corners of the park, before the skipper handed the bowl to Kedar Jadhav in the twentieth over of the innings. Opener Liton Das scored a brilliant century (121), putting on a wonderful opening partnership with Mehidy Hasan of 120 runs off 125 balls. However, once Mehidy lost his wicket, wickets kept tumbling in a heap and Bangladesh was left tottering at 151 for five after close to thirty overs.
India once again took all ten wickets and cleaned up Bangladesh for 222 in 49 overs.