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Asia Cup history: When India dominated in the late 80s and 90s

Mohammad Azharuddin guided Indias chase successfully in two Asia Cup finals - 1991 and 1995

Bengaluru, September 11: Over the years, India have won all the prominent one-day tournaments - ICC 50 Overs World Cup, ICC World T20 and ICC Champions Trophy etc. Not many trophies have been missing from India's cabinet. But no other tournament has seen India's dominance like the Asia Cup.

India are six-time Asia Cup champions and are the current title holders. Besides, India have entered the Asia Cup final eight times over the 13 editions - winning it six times. Sri Lanka are close on the heels of India with five title triumphs but India's dominance is unmatched especially in the three tournaments played in 1988, 1990-91 and 1995. In each of those finals, India defeated Sri Lanka.

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1988 - India beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets

The Indian one-day side of the 80s was still at its peak. But Sri Lanka jolted India in the league phase scoring a 17-run win and the final was expected to be a cracker. But India's all-round strength saw Sri Lanka were getting bundled out for 176. Kris Srikanth was the unlikely hero with the ball claiming three wickets across Lanka's middle and late order. Once Navjot Singh Sidhu (76 off 87 balls) and Dilip Vengsarkar (50 off 81 balls) chipped in with easy knocks India overcame the target in 37.4 overs to annex the Wills Asia Cup.

1990-91 - India beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets

This tournament followed the pattern of the earlier one after Pakistan pulled out of the event that held in India because of the political tensions between the two countries. Sri Lanka beat India by 36 runs in the league section but India came up with a stronger effort in the match that mattered the most. The tournament also saw two future stars coming out with contrasting results.

Sachin Tendulkar made a match-impacting 53 along with Sanjay Manjrekar (75 n.o) and Mohammed Azharuddin (54 n.o.). But Sanath Jayasuriya scored just five batting at seven and gave away 30 runs in his five overs. For the record, Kapil Dev took four for 31 as Sri Lanka were skittled for 204/9 in 45 overs and India motored past the target in 42.1 overs.

1995 - India beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets

By the time this tournament played, Indian cricket have bid adieu to the Class of 80s. Tendulkar was the batting mainstay while Javagal Srinath, Anil Kumble, Venkatesh Prasad have taken over the bowling reins - a core unit that served India till the early 2000s. India and Sri Lanka entered the final ahead of Pakistan by virtue of better net run rate - India - 4.85, Sri Lanka - 4.70 and Pakistan - 4.59. As it had been the case in the previous two finals, Indian bowlers came up with a stellar effort to restrict Sri Lanka to 230 for seven in 50 overs. Asanka Gurusinha was the top scorer for Lankans with an 85.

But India's top order fired in unison after the early departure of Manoj Prabhakar. Tendulkar made a run-a-ball 41, Sidhu a composed 84 off 106 balls and Azharuddin a typically elegant unbeaten 90 off 89 balls as India raced past the target in 41.5 overs to win the Pepsi Asia Cup.

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    Story first published: Tuesday, September 11, 2018, 13:18 [IST]
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