Bangladesh began well in the Asia Cup 2018 final after Indian Captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl first on Friday. But India ended up defeating Bangladesh by three wickets in a thrilling final. While Bangladesh qualified to the final for the 3rd time in the last 4 editions, defending champions India secured the title for the record 7th time.
India winning the toss and opting to bowl first and putting Bangladesh to bat first clearly showed the thought process in India dressing room that was relying heavily on their batting. Once Bengal openers kicked off their innings, both were looked ominous and was building a road towards first 300 runs of the tournament, soon they were jolted by Indian bowlers comeback.
They both put 120 runs partnership for Bangladesh, clearly set the tone for the later batsmen, but next batsmen failed severely. It was a mini collapse for Bangladesh middle order who failed to capitalize what their opening pair gave them a brilliant start, from 120 for no loss in 20 overs to 222 all out; their batting was failed apart and only Liton Das (121) catalyst for Bangladesh to stay in the final.
Target of 223 wasn’t enough for India at the halfway stage, assumptions were being made, that India was going to chase it down inside 40 overs as they chased their target against Pakistan very easily, and the reason India chose to bat second in all-important final game. Their openers gave them a brisk start inside first power play; it was once again Rohit Sharma (48) and Dhawan’s 15 off 14, they both put 35 runs in only 28 balls, but Dhawan failed to leave its impact in this game, India lost their first wicket on 35 runs. The next to leave the crease was Ambati Rayudu, they were on 46. Indian Captain Rohit Sharma played a blistering knock of 48 off 55 balls, with three boundaries and three sixes. Sharma was caught by Nazmul on the bowling of Rubel.
The fourth wicket of India was taken by Mahmudullah who dismissed Karthik (37) on a full toss delivery. He was looking forward to flick from middle stump and but couldn’t connect, Mahmudullah took an east catch. Mustafizur took the wicket of Dhoni (36), he was caught behind the wicket by Mushfiqur. Jadhav (23*) remained not out in the game off 27 balls to finish the game in the favor of India on the last ball of the innings, as the match go in the final over with 6 required off 6 balls, with 3 wickets remaining. Jadhav took the team to the required target on the last ball; Mahmudullah Riyad was bowling the last over. It is only the second occasion in the tournament Final the game finished on the last ball and chasing team won that game with zero balls to spare.
Player of the Match: Liton Das is only the 5th player to win the man of the match award in a tournament final despite ending on the losing side; on his maiden ODI hundred he got this award.
Player of the Tournament: Shikhar Dhawan, with 342 runs at average of 70: “Yeah I enjoyed this tournament. It was a Fantastic final. Good tournament for me, enjoyed my batting, and hope to continue the same way. I enjoy playing it in a cool and matured manner. I was playing more calmly this time, and I want consistency and elegance at the same time. Rohit and I keep switching the aggressor’s role sometimes, and I congratulate him for having a fantastic Asia Cup too.
Bangladesh 222/10 in 48.3 overs (Liton Das 121; Kuldeep Yadav 45/3, Kedar Jadhav 41/2)
India 223/7 in 50.0 overs (Rohit Sharma 48, Dinesh Karthik 37; Rubel Hossain 26/2, Mustafizur Rahman 38/2)
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