India defeat Bangladesh on last ball to retain Asia Cup

by Dwayne Torres September 29, 2018, 21:47
India defeat Bangladesh on last ball to retain Asia Cup

For the Tigers, it was a case of so near yet so far once again as they fell short in the Asia Cup final for the third time in four attempts. That was Dhoni's 200 match as captain in ODIs, becoming the third cricketer to lead his national team in 200 or more ODIs. Having played 34 matches, India have won 28 and lost just four of them. On the field India have kept their cool too, taking a cue from the two men who have captained in this series. It has helped that they have rarely had to deviate from a set script.

In the end, the tournament witnessed a finale to remember as India managed to limp across the finish line, pun intended.

Miraz did his job perfectly by dropping anchor as Liton hit a flurry of boundaries off Jasprit Bumrah (1/39) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

For Bangladesh, their key player, Shakib Al Hasan, their star all-rounder will miss the final with injury.

"I wanted to give everybody a fair run and play more games". India started the chase with Shikhar Dhawan (15) and Rohit Sharma (48, 55 balls) helping themselves to a boundary each off Mehidy Hasan Miraz's off-break.

"I guess they're balanced, know what their strengths are, they've improved a lot".

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Captain Rohit Sharma and his side remained unbeaten in the entire tournament and ensured a spirited Bangladesh side didn't shock them in the final showdown. Hats off to them, the way they played and won against Pakistan.

"We've played excellent cricket, just one hurdle to cross". We keep talking on our plans. "As such, it's not like there is extra responsibility on us because Virat isn't there".

But this was a win, deserving as it was, that India earned despite of their middle order wobbles. I wanted to bowl the quicks first, because I wanted to restrict the runs because they were going after us. When asked about Bangladesh's tendency to choke on the big occasion, Dhawan resisted the temptation to get into mind games or throw a barb.

The comment after the final, made in the euphoria of winning the title, feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy (and an attempt to paper over the cracks) because the final was not a case of the players in the middle order making the most of their opportunity. If we see any other team, what will be the difference? We can expect a full house in the stadium as both these teams have good support in the city. Also, they have been brilliant in the finals in the recent past.

Even though the diminutive player missed out on what would have been the seventh century of his one-day global career, his 144-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Mohammed Mithun (60) helped Bangladesh to post a competitive 239 all out. "Mashrafe bhai told us one thing. we talked about one thing: when at war, you don't look back", Mushfiqur Rahim revealed.

Skipper Rohit Sharma top scored with 48, but it was the 54-run fourth-wicket stand between Dinesh Karthik and MS Dhoni and a 45-run seventh-wicket stand between Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuneshwar Kumar that got India through.

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