Dubai: India snatched a last ball victory to retain the Asia Cup title in a thriller final against a fighting Bangladesh at Dubai stadium on Friday.
A 25,000 holiday crowd at Dubai stadium relished each and every second of the match as Bangladesh fought for every run before the India achieved victory till the last ball. When India need six runs from the final over to win the match, both Kedar Jadhav and Kuldeep Yadav made it possible.
The maiden hundred made by the opener Liton Das did not help Bangaldesh to snatch a win from India which struggled too much to reach at their final victory. Had it not been for Ravindra Jadeja’s experience and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s helping hand, India would have found it difficult to retain the Asia cup’s seventh title.
Chasing a moderate target of 223, India struggled before eventually crossing the line off the last ball, thanks to a 45-run partnership between the all-rounder duo. Earlier, Das held the innings together for Bangladesh, who were put into bat first, hitting a ton (121 runs off 117 balls) which featured a dozen boundaries and two sixes. But Bangladesh were all out in 48.3 overs despite a solid opening stand of 120 with Mehidy Hasan.
With their settled opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, India were expected to run away with victory, like they did in the previous matches but Bangladesh were not ready to give up without a fight. Dhawan was dismissed for 15 and Sharma for a punishing 55-ball 48, studded with three sixes and as many boundaries.
Dinesh Karthik (37) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (36) added 54 for the fourth wicket but once both were dismissed Bangladesh looked like pulling off an upset. Ravindra Jadeja (23) and Bhuvenshwar Kumar (21) brought the target within India's reach through a 45-run stand for the sixth wicket but Bangladesh removed them both with eight runs still needed.
India then required six off the last over and one off the final delivery which came as a leg-bye. Kedar Jadhav finished with 23 not out. India won the Asia Cup - under a Twenty20 format - in Bangladesh in 2016. Friday's result meant Bangladesh lost in a second Asia Cup final after coming up just short by two runs in the 2012 final against Pakistan at home.
Bangladesh's cause was not helped by three run-outs while left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav returned with the best figures of 3-45. (PenNews with input from UNI)