Dinesh Karthik, Nidahas Trophy, India vs Windies 2018, Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik (Credits - BCCI)

On this day, two years ago – Dinesh Karthik’s heroics scripted one of the best ‘behind from the back’ victories for India. It was the 34-year old that made the Men in Blue clinch the Nidahas Trophy in Colombo against Bangladesh by hitting a last-ball six.

The loss kept Bangladesh winless against their sub-continent counterparts in T20Is until their first victory in November 2019.

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Bangladesh had played some excellent cricket leading up to the final against India. They beat Sri Lanka twice, including chasing down a mammoth total of 215 in the third T20I.

However, they lost to the Men in Blue on two occasions during the group stages. Thus, Bangladesh had a score to settle in the final, the quest for which seemed well on sight until the last over.

BCB, Sabbir Rahman, Ban
Sabbir Rahman in action.
Photo Credit: LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

Put to bat first; the Tigers started strongly, but the loss of wickets curtailed their progress. Sabbir Rahman, having received a promotion, hung in there to keep his side on track. His 77 off 50 that included seven fours and four sixes became the bedrock of the team total of 166.

Other than him, Mahmudullah Riyad was the only one who could cross 20. Mehdi Hasan’s cameo of 19 off seven deliveries proved crucial at the end.

For India, Yuzvendra Chahal was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for only 18 runs in four overs.

India loses the plot after a good start:

Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, India
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Similar to their opposition, India had a reasonably flying start too only to lose wickets at wrong junctures. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul’s partnership of 51 kept Bangladesh on the bay. It was the latter who exited early soon after the captain also miscued a hit to long-on for 56.

At 133 for four with 34 still needed, a well-set Manish Pandey was deceived from some smart bowling from Mustafizur Rahman.

Dinesh Karthik rises to the occasion:

VVS Laxman, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli
Dinesh Karthik (Credits – Twitter)

The turning point was yet to come. India desperately needed someone to go after the bowlers from the get-go. All-rounder Vijay Shankar struggled to even get bat on ball in four consecutive deliveries in the previous over.

As Karthik took strike for 19th over from Rubel Hossain, the men in blue required 34 from the last couple of overs.

Karthik collected 16 runs off the first three deliveries by hitting a couple of sixes and one boundary.

Despite going for only six in the next three balls, India gave themselves a real chance at winning the match. Karthik’s 22-run pummelling of Rubel reduced the equation to 12 off six deliveries.

Soumya Sarkar had been given the responsibility to bowl the final over. Sarkar’s deceptive medium-pace bowling can often get wickets out of nowhere.

It was Shankar, who had to take the strike due to his partner getting a boundary off the last ball off the previous over.

Shankar yet again found it difficult to get the boundary and gave the strike to Karthik off the third ball after the first two balls produced only one run off a wide.

Vijay Shankar received the chance to face a delivery since all Karthik could do was take a single off the third ball. This time the right-handed batsman managed to run the ball to the vacant third-man region to collect a much-needed boundary.

Shankar’s wicket off the next delivery forced India to hit nothing less than a six off the final ball to steal the victory out of Bangladesh’s pocket. And due to the crossover, red-hot Karthik was back on strike.

Soumya Sarkar bowled a half-volley that he hammered it to the extra cover region for a flat-six. Karthik remained unbeaten on 29 off eight deliveries that also earned him the man of the match award.

The last-ball six also reminded many fans of MS Dhoni’s style of finishing the innings.

Below is the video of Dinesh Karthik’s heroics in the last and the second-last over of India’s innings: