In an Exhilarating Last-over Finish, Team India Clinches Asia Cup 2018
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Cricket has always held a special place in the heart of Indians who strive to celebrate each of team India’s victory with great pomp and show but criticize them upon failure with equal fervour. September 28, 2018, was another day for India to witness the skies filled with fireworks and passionate cricket enthusiasts bursting in joy as men in blue brought home another crucial championship.
India defeated Bangladesh in the final of Asia Cup 2018 by three wickets to claim their seventh continental title. Chasing the target of 223 runs at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Rohit Sharma-led team recorded a thrilling victory in the last over. While the team struggled in the middle overs, Indian champs pulled off a delightful performance to win the crucial match.
Virat Kohli’s absence from the series had added extra pressure over the stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma to prove his mettle as a team leader, which he did throughout the tournament. ‘Hitman’ Sharma has performed consistently throughout the tournament, as a captain and a batsman. He was the top Indian scorer in the final match with 48 on board. Sharma was well-supported by Dinesh Karthik.
Karthik’s impressive run between the wickets with Sharma in the middle overs steadied India’s position in the chase. Sharma’s most-trusted man, Shikhar Dhawan has made a stellar comeback in the Asia Cup after a distressing England experience. While the Indian opener failed to perform to his potential in the final match for being dismissed at mere 15 runs, he showed a classic form throughout the tournament.
Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni’s presence through the series worked as a support system for the players who constantly turned to him for guidance. Apart from handling the situation behind the stumps during the first innings gracefully, the veteran cricketer built a vital 54-run partnership with Dinesh Karthik after Sharma’s dismissal.
The match witnessed another dominant partnership by Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the seventh wicket which contributed immensely to the team’s victory. Their brilliant 45-run acted as the push India needed to reach the target. Kedar Jadhav might have to go back to the green room after suffering a right hamstring strain, his efforts to run despite pain can’t be neglected.
The Tough Opponent
Fighting the in-form Bangladeshi team was a task for the Indian team but that’s what made the match worth watching. Skipper Mashrafe Mortaza regretted not scoring above 240 but was proud of his bowlers for doing well. Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hossain pulled two wickets each whereas Nazmul Islam, Mashrafe Mortaza and Mahmudullah picked up one wicket apiece.
Team India was evidently struggling to meet the target due to Bangladesh team’s joined efforts. In the absence of Bangladesh’s star players Shakib-al-Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim acted as the team’s rock. Experts have credited his determination and outstanding performance in the previous matches, especially his whirlwind innings against Pakistan for Bangladesh reaching the finals.
Another of the team’s bright names, Mustafizur Rahman contributed to Bangladesh coming so far. His continuous blows to Pakistan during the 10 overs he was bowling surely count for something significant. Rahman is slowly but steadily leaving a mark in the limited overs cricket with his bowling skills. Nonetheless, Bangladesh made up for an outstanding opponent for team India.