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What a final it turned out to be. India and Bangladesh are making a habit of producing nail-biting finishes. Just like previous occasions, India emerged victorious. Bangladesh fought bravely but at the end, the opposition snatched the game from their grasp. The Men in Blue won the Asia Cup for the 7th time and also defended the title.

Bangladesh was invited to bat first after Rohit Sharma won the toss. Their surprising move to open with Mehidy Hasan paid a rich dividend. He proved to be the perfect partner for Liton Das who was smacking the Indian seamers. There were consistent explosions from Liton as the score raced off to 65 after 10 overs.

Bangladesh lost the plot after a solid start

Indian seamers or the spinners proved to be ineffective while the opener kept striking them. He reached his fifty and pretty soon, the score reached 116/0 after 20 overs. In the big final, Bangladesh had gotten off to a wonderful start and a great platform was set for the middle-order to exploit.

But Bangladesh faltered big time. Kedar Jadhav gave India the first wicket in the form of Mehidy for 32 in the 21st over as the opening partnership yielded 20 runs. The floodgates opened and the batting side lost 3 more wickets in quick succession. The middle-order showed no fight and India made a sparkling comeback.

Liton notched up his maiden ton but there were wickets falling at regular intervals. After his departure for 121 in the 41st over, there was no resistance from the lower order. Soumya Sarkar scored a decent 33 but Indians bundled the opposition out for 222 having 9 balls in hand.

India, in reply, got off a good start. Dhawan and Rohit didn’t waste any time and the score was up and running. Shikhar got a little greedy and threw away his wicket away to Nazmul Islam for 15 in the 5th over. Mashrafe Mortaza accounted for the wicket of Rayudu very soon but Rohit’s stay gave India the confidence as they reached 57/2 after 10 overs.

A thrilling finish

The scoring rate was good until Rohit got out for 48 in the 17th over. He was inching towards another half-century but his departure brought Bangladesh back in the game. The bowlers rose to the occasion and applied constant pressure in the next few overs. MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik had time in their hands and they didn’t mind a few dot balls.

India required 88 runs from the last 20 overs. The duo added 54 runs for the 4th wicket before Karthik was removed by Mahmudullah for 37 off 61 in the 31st over. A few overs later, Dhoni was caught behind for 36 off the bowling of Mustafizur. Problems increased for India when Kedar Jadhav left the field due to a hamstring injury.

Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar’s stand of 52 got India close but both got out near the target. Kedar Jadhav came back to bat and the equation came down to 6 from the last over. Mahmudullah bowled the final over and Kuldeep and Jadhav did the job in singles. India went on to win the match off the final ball and successfully defended the Asian title.

Match Summary

India won the toss and opted to bowl first

Bangladesh: 222/10 in 48.3 overs

Liton Das 121 (117), Soumya Sarkar 33 (45)

Kuldeep Yadav 45/3 (10), Kedar Jadhav 41/2 (9)

India: 223/7 in 50 overs

Rohit Sharma 48 (55), Dinesh Karthik 37 (61)

Rubel Hossain 26/2 (10), Mustafizur Rahman 38/2 (10)

India won by 3 wickets

Player of the Match: Liton Das

Player of the Tournament: Shikhar Dhawan

 

Here’s how Twitter reacted to the 7th Asian Trophy for India

 

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