Team India clinched a nail-biting thriller against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup 2018 final, as they won by three wickets on the final delivery of the tournament.

To start with, Bangladesh fought valiantly, however, in the end, it was a great effort from the lower-order batsmen which saw India lifting their seventh Asia Cup title. Though the match could have gone either way, it was the Men in Blue who prevailed in the thriller.

Initially, Bangladesh lost the toss and was sent out to bat by Rohit Sharma. There was a surprise in the opening combination, as Mehidy Hasan was sent to open the innings with Liton Das. The latter came out all guns blazing and smashed the Indian bowlers all around the park en-route to his maiden ODI century. It was a great display of batsmanship by Liton Das. On the other hand, Mehidy Hasan was giving him ample support, as they shared a 120-run stand for the opening wicket.

Liton Das smashed the India bowlers all around the park

Liton Das thrashed the Indian bowlers with disdain. His innings of 121 off 116 deliveries studded with 12 fours and a couple of big hits over the fence. It was Kedar Jadhav who provided the maiden breakthrough in the form of Hasan’s wicket. From there on, it was a collapse, as Bangladesh kept losing wickets at regular intervals.

India, Bangladesh, Final, Asia Cup 2018
Kedar Jadhav played a gritty knock for India in the final of the Asia Cup. Getty Images

Kedar Jadhav was quite brilliant with his slow-slingy off spins. Kuldeep Yadav then came into the act and ripped through the middle-order bagging three crucial wickets. Liton Das scored 121 runs which were the only reason Bangladesh even reached 222.

India began quite pretty well and shared a 35-run stand with Rohit Sharma for the opening wicket. However, it was a pretty loose shot from Dhawan. Rohit Sharma kept going, but Abati Rayudu also fell early. The skipper looked in great touch and looked set to take his nation home. However, it was Rubel Hossain who bagged the crucial wicket to leave India under pressure.

MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik shared a good stand, but both fell in quick succession to leave India under some pressure. Kedar Jadhav had to leave the field due to a hamstring injury which left India in a bit of trouble.

Eventually, it was again down to the wire. Bhuvneshwar Kumar batted well with Ravindra Jadeja, but two wickets fell in quick succession. Ultimately, it was Kedar Jadhav who struck the winning runs to finish of the match. Despite the defeat, it was Liton Das who was handed over the Man of the Match Award for his sizzling knock of 121 runs.

Liton Das
Liton Das raises his bat after completing his maiden ODI hundred. Image Courtesy: Getty

Here is what winning skipper Rohit Sharma said at the post-match presentation,

“We played some good cricket throughout the tournament and this is the reward of all the hard work throughout the tournament. I have been part of games like this before, and credit to the guys in the middle to handle the pressure and to cross the finishing line was a fantastic effort. You have to give some credit to Bangladesh. They put us under pressure in the first ten overs. We thought if the ball got older, the spinners would do the work for us.”

“It was important to keep it tight, and we have done that well throughout the tournament. If you have a team like that, the captain will always look good. It wouldn’t be easy if we don’t have the support of the remaining ten players, so I am really proud of the boys. I would like to thank the crowd, who have come out in huge numbers to support us throughout the tournament.”

“If you have a team like that, the captain will always look good. It wouldn’t be easy if we don’t have the support of the remaining ten players, so I really proud of the boys. I would like to thank the crowd, who have come out in huge numbers to support us throughout the tournament and I’m sure they’re going back extremely pleased.”