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India beat Bangladesh by three wickets on last ball to win Asia Cup

Abu Dhabi: Bangladesh seem to be slowly taking control of the game with three Indian wickets in hand while defending a 223-run target in the final of the Asia Cup 2018 being played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Hundred came up for India when MS Dhoni finally hit a much-needed four in the 24th over.

The match fell into a bit of a lull after the 10th over, with the runs coming in slow when India were delta the third blow in the 17th over as Rohit Sharma handed his wicket off a short ball by Rubel Hossain as Nazmul Islam ran to his right and took a good catch.

The second wicket for India fell in the 8th over when the new man Ambati Rayudu (2) edged a ball by Mashrafe Mortaza and was caught by Mushfiqur Rahim.

Earlier, opener Shikhar Dhawan had to walk back to the pavilion when he tried to drive a ball by Nazmul Islam over mid off, but ended up handing it straight to Soumya Sarkar. Dhawan had made 15 runs of 14 balls.

India had not fully found their footing in the match when their wickets started to fall in the fifth over with only 35 runs on the board.

‘Bangladesh innings’

After Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to field first, Mehidy Hasan and Liton Das opened the innings for Bangladesh, whereas Bhuveshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah shared the new ball for India.

While the Indian pace pair’s opening spells had almost always troubled opposing pairs in the tournament, Hasan and Das had few such problems.

Bangladesh's Liton Das plays a shot during the Asia Cup match between India and Bangladesh. — AP
Bangladesh’s Liton Das plays a shot during the Asia Cup match between India and Bangladesh (AP)

Das, in particular, seemed in fine nick, smacking Kumar for back-to-back boundaries in the 4th over, which forced Indian captain Rohit Sharma to introduced spin earlier than he’d have liked.

By the end of 5 overs, Bangladesh were 33-0 and looking quite comfortable.

Das went after Yuzvendra Chahal in the 8th over, launching him for two maximums and accelerate the scoring.The usually reliable Bumrah was also struggling against the Bangla basher; he was hit for a four in the 9th.

With Das on a roll, Hasan did the right thing by playing the facilitator rather than attempting to replicate what his partner was doing so well on the other hand.

Yuzvendra Chahal drops a catch after a shot played by Bangladesh's Liton Das — AP
Yuzvendra Chahal drops a catch after a shot played by Bangladesh’s Liton Das (AP)

At the end of the 10th over, Bangladesh were 65-0, with Das having raced to 47 off just 31 balls.

Following a brief lull, Das struck Jadeja for a 4 to open the 12 over — bowled by Ravindra Jadeja — before being dropped by Chahal two balls later.

Hasan drove Kuldeep Yadav for a four in the 15th, at the end of which the scoreboard read 86-0.

Das edged one to the third-man boundary to bring up Bangladesh’s 100 in the 18th over, following which the teams took a drinks break.

Das played two fantastic sweep shots in the 20th over bowled by Jadeja and entered his 80s but the next over saw his opening partner Hasan depart as Indian finally found the elusive breakthrough.

Bangladesh batsman Mehidy Hasan Miraz plays a shot during the Asia Cup cricket match between Bangladesh and India. — AFP
Bangladesh batsman Mehidy Hasan Miraz plays a shot during the Asia Cup cricket match between Bangladesh and India (AFP)

Imrul Kayes walked in to join Das but his stay at the crease didn’t last long as Chahal trapped him in front of the wickets in the 24th over. Kayes took the review but the umpire’s call was upheld.

At the halfway mark, Bangladesh were 133-2, reeling from the twin setbacks but still confident of posting a sizable total.

However, their optimism flailed some more in the 27th and 28th minute when the in-form Musfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun both departed to leave their side reeling.

Das brought up his maiden ODI century in the 29th over but the job was far from done; his side needed him to carry the bat.

Bangladesh batsman Liton Das celebrates after scoring a century. — AFP
Bangladesh batsman Liton Das celebrates after scoring a century (AFP)

The burden to carry on increased on Das some more in the 33rd over when Bangladesh lost their fifth wicket, this time Mahmudullah the one to depart.

Das and Soumya Sarkar plugged the leak and batted responsibly for the next seven overs, taking the score to 178-5 at the end of 40 overs.

The centurion’s brilliant 121-run innings (off 117 balls) finally came to an end in the 41st over when he was stumped out by Yadav.

The decision was referred to the third umpire, who ruled in the bowler’s favour despite there being considerable visual evidence to give the benefit of the doubt to Das.

Yadav was hit for a six in the 43rd over by Moshrafe Mortaza, who then tried to repeat the trick but instead fell for the bowler’s repeat trick: a stumping dismissal.

The final three batters dragged Bangladesh to 222 before being all-out.

‘Line-ups’

Bangladesh: Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (capt.), Nazmul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman

India: Rohit Sharma (capt.), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.

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