Bangladesh: 239/10 (48.5 Overs) [Mushfiq 99, Mithun 60, Mahmudullah 25; Junaid 4/19]
Pakistan: 202/9 (50 Overs) [Imam 83, Asif 31, Malik 30; Mustafiz 4/43, Mehedy 2/28]
Result: Bangladesh won by 37 Runs.
Man of the Match: Mushfiqur Rahim.
Bangladesh defeated Pakistan in the last match of Super Four of Asia Cup which ultimately became a semi-final match. This 37-run victory has brought them the ticket of the final against India in Dubai. This is the consecutive Indo-Bangla battle in the Asia Cup final. It is also remarkable that Bangladesh has qualified for three finals in last four Asia Cup contests.
Bangladesh didn’t have Tamim Iqbal for sure. It’s rather shocking that they lost Shakib Al Hasan before this match as well. But Mashrafee wanted to trust his batsmen and chose to bat first without hesitation. In Abu Dhabi, chasing 250 is very difficult. But the start of Bangladesh innings couldn’t bring a dream of a big total.
Junaid Khan and Shaheen Afridi dominated the first powerplay and Pakistan sent 3 top-order batsmen to the pavilion. This is a déjà vu; Bangladesh top-order is struggling without Tamim. Then another repetation of past– Musfiqur Rahim stood strong against the quality bowling and Mithun got his form back after getting down the order to number five. These two formed a big partnership again and Bangladesh got out of danger.
But when the situation was getting much easier for the tigers, Mithun got out in the same fashion like the dismissal against Sri Lanka. But the 144-run stand already founded the root of Bangladesh innings deeper. But then, the most unfortunate incident for a batsman happened in Mushi’s innings. He was sweetly walking towards his second century in this tournament, but got out on 99. It is definitely proven that Sarfraz should have used his pacers in the middle overs. Bangladesh couldn’t go further after that. They scored 239, but still not enough to relieve the bowling unit.
There was no Shakib, so Pakistan was just thinking to target the fifth bowler. But who knew that the fifth bowler will finish his 10-over quota with an excellent figure of 1 for 38! The sixth bowler has also a cracking spell (5-0-19-1). But Mahmudullah and Soumya are not the highlights of the innings. Bangladesh surprised everyone with their fielding tonight, except some huge misses from Liton. The first catch was taken by Rubel, actually an acrobat version of Rubel. Then Mushfiq took a brilliant catch diving to his right side; remember he has a lot of injuries in the rib-cage and hamstring. Fizz and Miraz gave Bangladesh exactly the ideal start. But the fourth partnership between Malik and Imam was going so well, almost the same condition like Bangladesh innings. Then the Superman of Bangladesh showed his magic.
Rubel’s ball was well hit by Malik, but Mashrafee snatched the ball from air within a second jumping almost three meters. Malik was so stunned that he stood still on the ground for a long time. Bangladesh could have grabbed the victory earlier if Liton could grab the easiest chance of all time offered by Asif on Mustafiz’s bowling. But he paid the recompense in a while with a 0.16 second stumping.
Imam Ul Haq was the only barrier between victory and Bangladesh. Mahmudullah pushed him to the trap of another stumping by Liton. Liton missed another caught-behind chance, but certainly Bangladesh did a great job in bowling-fielding combination. Fizz took four for his team but it could obviously be six or seven. Miraz bowled an outstanding spell (10-1-28-2).
Mushfiq left the field with injury, but it is confirmed that the injury is not severe. Bangladesh will certainly pray for Shakib’s presence in the final, but the major concern must be the top-order. Bangladeshi opening pair is not confirmed yet. But it is true that they shouldn’t rely on a half-fit Mushi, uncertain Shakib or full-of-surgery Mash. India are waiting to use all the possible weakness of this Bangladesh team. But if Bangladesh can win the trophy with some eye-catching performances from new-comers, that will be a great news for young tigers.
Can they roar again?
Another Nail-biting Finish: Again Unlucky Bangladesh
Bangladesh: 222/10 (48.3 Overs) [Liton 121, Soumya 33, Mehidy 32; Kuldeep 3/45, Jadhav 2/41]
India: 223/7 (50 Overs) [Rohit 48, Karthik 37, Dhoni 36; Rubel 2/26, Mustafiz 2/38]
Result: India won by 3 wickets.
Man of the Match: Liton Das.
Repetition of Nidahas Trophy final. The match went to the last ball to decide the winner. At last, it’s India again! Bangladesh lost another final, they are above all consolation. What a final we have witnessed last night!
A drastic change in the game came in the middle overs of Bangladesh innings. 120/0 to 222/10! This is not an ideal first innings of a final match. But Bangladeshi bowlers had a different thinking. They almost sealed the victory with that score. But in the end, India won their seventh Asia Cup title.
The winners must confess that they never played this type of Asia Cup final before. They won all other finals too easily. But this one was a blockbuster. A small incident could result in the favour of Bangladesh. Some overthrows, some lazy running or a controversial decision against Liton caused the small damages which ended up in a defeat for Bangladesh.
India captain was probably regretting for letting Bangladesh bat first when Bangladeshi openers started brilliantly. They composed a melodious partnership of 120 runs in just 21 overs. With Liton, another opener was a surprise for all, Mehidy Hasan. Liton played the anchor role obviously, but Mehidy also helped him with singles and odd boundaries. But after Mehidy’s dismissal, Bangladesh fell apart dramatically.
Bangladesh suddenly turned into debris and Liton started losing his partners one by one. 120/0 to 151/5— and Bangladesh already played out 32 overs. Then Liton and Soumya had started repairing the innings until that unfortunate event happened. On 41st over, Liton missed Kuldeep’s ball and Dhoni was so quick to react and take the bails off. It was a tough decision for the third umpire. It certainly looked like Liton would survive because it was not sure whether he had the smallest part of his boot inside the crease. Rod Tucker thought otherwise. He declared Liton out.
Soumya’s 33 helped Bangladesh crawl over 220. But three run-outs and two stumpings were unaffordable at that stage. Add two ‘gift’ wickets of Mushfiq and Mahmudullah with that. Liton scored his maiden ODI hundred but couldn’t snatch the victory. He was adjudged the man of the match for his 121 off 117 with 12 fours and 2 sixes.
When you have two bowlers like Rubel and the Fizz, 222 is not a very small score. Aggressive captaincy of Mashrafee gives the fuel to burn. Rubel and Mustafiz started to shine in the same night. Mashrafee, probably played his last Asia Cup match last night, bowled so well in a perfect channel. Bangladesh got the fifth wicket on 160; Kedar Jadhav and Jadeja were the last recognized pair. But they had no plan about Bhuvneswar who made the way easier by hitting a six and a four between two overs.
In the end, a drama had taken place after Rubel and Mustafiz took the wickets of Bhuvi and Jadeja. On 48th, Rubel conceded only 4 and Mustafiz gave 3 run on the penultimate over. Meanwhile, Jadhav came back in the crease after leaving the field for a while with a hamstring injury. Bangladesh had all the chances to stop their opponents. But they ran out of specialist death bowlers who can defend six runs on the last over. Mahmudullah did his best. He took it to the final delivery and Kedar Jadhav couldn’t hit that. It was a leg bye which decided the Asia Cup winners.
It was full of drama, full of tragedy, full of joy, full of cricket-craziness. Yes, there is catharsis as well, it was heart-breaking for a Bangladesh supporter. Bangladesh again proved that they can win anything but lack of experience was the main problem. India kept their nerves cool, they didn’t repeat the mistake of the match against Afghanistan. Shikhar Dhawan is the player of the tournament for scoring 342 runs in the tournament.
Bangladesh started to win matches regularly. But in the big tournaments, a team must start to win the close calls. Bangladesh have been trying for last few years, but lost the big matches marginally. On the other hand, India have kept dominating their opponents. This is another feather in their cap.
Update: India have Decided to Field First
Oh! That naturally surprises me a bit. It looks like a good batting pitch which will start to help the spinners under the lights. The same thing has been said by Ramiz Raza after inspecting the pitch. But Rohit Sharma and his team think otherwise.
Let’s see what happens.
260-70 will be a good score to defend. Bangladesh will desperately want to have more, like 280s. But they must start it well, which is rare for them in this tournament.
Bangladesh have dropped Mominul out and include the lefty spinner, Nazmul. Indian eleven is renovated. All five who got rest in the previous match are back for the final. The war will begin in ten minutes.
Key Points of the Final: Six-time Champions or New Sensation?
Same opponents, different format. India and Bangladesh met in the final of the previous Asia Cup as well. But that was a twenty-twenty format tournament. Actually the final was rain-interrupted and in the end India won the 15-over match by 8 wickets.
India have achieved this trophy six times before this match. On the other hand, Bangladesh played two finals and lost both. But this is a new tournament, a new situation. India tied their last match against Afghanistan but Bangladesh beat Pakistan quite easily in the end. These experiences will have an impact on the game.
Bangladesh, an injury-wounded team, will try to give their best bowling-fielding like the last match. But they have faced a huge problem with the top-order batting.
India will be very tensed about their sudden destruction of the previous match, especially the run-outs. But they have a strong batting lineup with the capability to build up mammoth scores.
Some important factors of the final match of Asia Cup 2018 are discussed here-
Toss-winning captain may decide to bat first and put a good total which will bother the opposite team. In UAE, chasing a target more than 250 is so tough. Batsmen field in the evening for 50 overs, then come to bat. If the team batting first can impose a big total like 280, the chasing team must be in trouble because the batsmen will not have the psychological satisfaction.
Bangladesh didn’t have Shakib in the last match. He is in big trouble with his finger injury. So possibly he won’t be available tonight as well. But it is the spin attack what matters the most in the subcontinent. It is not sure whether Nazmul will come back, but Miraz and Mahmudullah bowled exceptionally well in that very important match against Pakistan. On the other hand, Jadeja is in form, Kuldeep is unreadable and part-timer Jadhav bowls very well. So India will depend on their spin attack tonight, where Bangladesh is still not sure about their spinners. But they have a better seam attack lead by captain Mash. Fizz is doing very well and Rubel will be the fastest tonight.
|Top order |
Top order batting is the point of bother for Bangladesh. The opening pair didn’t score more than 16 in any match. It’s still not confirmed who’ll going to start their innings tonight. On the other hand, India will face a sweet dilemma tonight. Both Rohit and Shikhar were absent in the match against Afghanistan, but their substitutes Rahul and Rayudu played very well. So it’s the batting-clash between the top-order of India and the middle-order of Bangladesh where Mushi and Mahmudullah are waiting to attack with the assistance of Mithun or Kayes.