To call the 2018 Asia Cup final a “nail-biting” event will be an understatement. The hype was built around a possible India Vs Pakistan final. But Bangladesh had other plans. By defeating Pakistan, it set up the high profile clash with India. But the mighty Indians held on to their nerves to clinch the 2018 Asia Cup. Let’s look at the moments that defined this epic final:
After winning the toss, India let Bangladesh bat first. Bangladesh made India regret this decision briefly. Liton Das got Bangladesh off to a flying start, as he hit Indian bowlers all-around the park, as he completed his debut century.
Bangladesh lost its first wicket at 120. That was the opening India was waiting for. Indian bowlers took the remaining nine wickets for just 102 runs. A spirited bowling and fielding effort brought India right back into the game.
Set a modest total of 222 runs, India got off to a shaky start. The famed opening duo of Shikhar and Rohit put just 35 runs before Shikhar departed. India was reeling at 83-3 and Bangladesh had its tail up. The untested Indian middle-order now stood exposed. Veterans Dinesh Karthik and MS Dhoni began stitching a partnership.
Batting cautiously, it seemed Karthik and Dhoni would see India through. But Bangladesh fought back and got rid of both Karthik and Dhoni in quick succession. Kedar Jadhav retired hurt after pulling his hamstring. Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed maturity and kept India in the game. Kumar’s six off Hossain in the 46th, rcame at the right time for the Indians.
With six needed off the last over, the match was still equally poised. An injured Kedar Jadhav with Kuldeep Yadav ensured it was India which laid its hands on the trophy. India dominated the 2018 Asia Cup and won the trophy for the 7th time.