Shoaib Akhtar lauds both India and Bangladesh for a thrilling Asia Cup final
India defeated Bangladesh to win their 7th Asia Cup title.
Updated - Sep 29, 2018 4:41 pm
Former Pakistani fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar praised both India and Bangladesh for putting up a thrilling Asia Cup final on Friday. Shoaib had been commentating during the tournament, and was already looking forward to witnessing the two teams take each other in the final. In the last edition of the Asia Cup hosted by Bangladesh, India squared off against the Bangla Tigers in the final. The Men in Blue were won the 2016 final comfortably. However on Friday, Rohit Sharma and Co. struggled to get over the finish line, but somehow managed to win the game off the final ball.
Rohit Sharma won the toss and put Bangladesh into bat in the hot and humid conditions. However, to the surprise of most in the stadium, Bangladesh got off to a flying start, thanks to right-handed opener Liton Das. Along with Mehidy Hasan Miraz, he took Bangladesh to 120 without loss, and the Tigers looked good to go beyond 300 in the first innings. But once Rohit Sharma brought the spinners into play, the complexion of the game changed completely. Kedar Jadhav gave India their first breakthrough by getting rid of Mehidy Hasan, which set off a Bangladeshi collapse.
India hobble to the target
At one end, Liton Das continued his imperious batting and soon got to his century. But he didn’t have anyone with whom he could build partnerships. Eventually Bangladesh were only able to put 222 on the board, and given India’s batting strength, it should have been an easy chase.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma provided the Indians with a steady start, but as soon as Dhawan fell, India’s scoring rate dropped drastically. The Men in Blue struggled to build partnerships until MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik steadied the ship to a certain extent with a 54-run stand. When Karthik departed, Kedar Jadhav came to the crease, but the little man was soon struck with yet another hamstring injury. Jadhav was forced to retire hurt, leaving India in a spot of bother at 167 for 5.
It took Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bring India back into the match. Finally, it was a hobbling Kedar Jadhav who snuck a leg-bye off the final ball to register a thrilling win and hand India their seventh Asia Cup title. After the match, Shoaib tweeted, “Congratulations to team India for winning the Asia cup final but must congratulate team Bangladesh also for putting up a great fight .. Tonight cricket won ..”
Here’s his tweet
Congratulations to team India for winning the Asia cup final but must congratulate team Bangladesh also for putting up a great fight ..
Tonight cricket won ..
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) September 28, 2018