New Delhi, Sep 29: India survived the last-over jitters as their experienced middle-order helped the defending champions clinch a record seventh Asia Cup title with a three-wicket win over Bangladesh in the Asia Cup 2018 final on Friday (September 28).
Captain Rohit Sharma and his side remained unbeaten in the entire tournament and ensured a spirited Bangladesh side didn't shock them in the final showdown. However, the Men In Blue didn't look in control in their run chase in the final as they lacked fireworks and reached home on the last ball of the match.
Having put Bangladesh - who have now finished as runners-up on three occasions - in to bat, the Indian skipper's decision to chase didn't go as per the plan as they were pushed to the walls early on as Liton Das and Mehidy Hasan (32) put on 120 for the opening wicket.
However, Bangladesh made a mess of the positive start and lost the course and lost 10 wickets for 102 runs as they were dismissed for 222, Soumya Sarkar (33) the only other player to reach double figures.
Kuldeep Yadav (3/45) starred with the ball for India before Kedar Jadhav battled through the pain barrier to win the game after initially retiring hurt with a hamstring injury.
Whew!— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) September 28, 2018
Finally an ODI tournament victory for India after 5 years!
India's last win came in a Caribbean tri-series (Celkon Mobile Cup) at Port of Spain on 11 July 2013.
Beat Sri Lanka in the final by 1 wkt & with just 2 balls to spare!#IndvBan#BanvInd#AsiaCupFinal#AsiaCup2018
Only Rohit got close to a big score, the captain ending up the leading scorer for his side, but unlike their opponents India had significant contributions down the order.
Dinesh Karthik (37) and Dhoni (36) kept the scoreboard ticking along after Shikhar Dhawan (15) and Ambati Rayudu (2) had gone cheaply, while the tail wagged superbly.
Jadhav's injury saw him leave the field at the end of the 38th over, but he returned with India needing 11 to win after some big hitting from Bhuvneshwar Kumar (21).
India went into the last over wanting six runs and Jadhav faced the last ball with his side requiring one to retain their crown, the batsman getting his pad on Mahmudullah's delivery to seal victory.
Here's who said what about India's win:
Rohit Sharma (India Captain): 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 (Bangladesh) put us under pressure in the first 10 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 10 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 and I'm sure they're going back extremely pleased.
Shikhar Dhawan (Man of the Tournament): I enjoyed this tournament. Fantastic final. Good tournament for me, enjoyed my batting, and hope to continue the same way. I enjoy playing it in a cool and matured manner. I was playing more calmly this time, and I want consistency and elegance at the same time. Rohit and I keep switching the aggressor's role sometimes, and I congratulate him for having a fantastic Asia Cup too.
Kedar Jadhav (The last man standing): I've been in this situation few months back. Knew field will be up in the end and will be easy to take one or two. The way Kuldeep batted gave me confidence too. I'm still a batsman who can bowl. It's at least Grade I or II tear. Let's see tomorrow.
Kuldeep Yadav: He (Jadhav) just told me to back myself and be careful while running. The wicket was good to bat on today, compared to the last game. More you play here, more you get better. First game I was struggling to get my line right. Have scored a lot of runs in first-class cricket, so qualify me as an all-rounder.
Ravindra Jadeja: I was almost out for 15 months and I wasn't feeling good. I want to play white-ball cricket, I just wanted to prove myself and improve on my game. You need to prove yourself when you get the opportunity, you need to show you are good enough. I just wanted to play my natural game, try and hit the ball well and win the game for my country.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Hong Kong was a wake-up call for me. When you come back from injury, it takes at least one game and that was the game for me. Don't want to give room to the batsman. On these wickets, drive is an easy shot for the batsman. So, the plan was to bowl back of a length. He's (Bumrah) an amazing bowler. We keep talking on our plans.
Congratulations India on becoming #AsiaCup Champions. Hats off to Bangladesh for their splendid fight and attitude, for not giving up and playing out of their skins,this despite missing Shakib and Tamim. Special mention to Kedar Jadhav for his grit and commitment #IndvBan— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) September 28, 2018
So near yet so far from Bangladesh. Congratulations to Team India on winning the #AsiaCup2018 . Hats off to Bangladesh for such a spirited fight despite missing key players. India have a lot of areas to work upon despite winning this & I am hopeful, they will get better. #IndvBan— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) September 28, 2018
Bhuvi looks good enough at 8 and Jadeja looked composed enough at 7. But India still need to get their head around 4,5,6.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 28, 2018
Congratulations India on winning the Asia Cup. The bowlers were phenomenal throughout the tournament and the main reason that we managed to win. Really special effort from Bangladesh to take the game so deep. Well done #IndvBan— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) September 28, 2018
Asia cup gets a new lease of life. Another nail biter!— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) September 28, 2018
Four closely matched Asian teams now with India clear leaders to make this event one to look forward to.#AsiaCup2108
Congratulations to team India for winning the Asia cup final but must congratulate team Bangladesh also for putting up a great fight ..— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) September 28, 2018
Tonight cricket won ..
All told, the Asia Cup has been highly competitive, demanding the best from all teams. Credit to India for winning the title— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) September 28, 2018
The best team in the Asia Cup scrapped over the final line. But India leave with many questions about their middle-order batting. And Bangladesh with that rueful feeling of another opportunity lost— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) September 28, 2018
(With inputs from OPTA)