Dhaka: India finish their unbeaten run in the Asia Cup with a strong performance in the final. Bangladesh fought hard in phases but a victory with seven balls to spare and eight wickets.
India extended their unbeaten run in the inaugural Twenty20 Asia Cup by cruising to a eight-wicket win in the final over hosts Bangladesh, thus lifting the trophy to head into the ICC World Twenty20 as the team to beat.
Bangladesh's total of 120/5 in 15 overs proved insufficient for India, who chased their target in 13.5 overs with Shikhar Dhawan hitting 60 and Virat Kohli maintaining his excellent form in 2016 with 41 not out.
After the early wicket of Rohit India were made to earn their runs the hard way. India could manage only 19 off the first 4 overs for the loss of Rohit’s wicket.
Left-arm pacer Abu Hider then let off the pressure with a 14-run over. He managed to find Dhawan’s edge off the first ball, but it ended up going for a boundary.
Kohli then hammered one over mid-off for four more before Dhawan finished off the over with a deliberate steer down third man for the third boundary of the over.
Shakib Al Hasan came on to bowl the next over, and was hit for 15 runs in the over. India’s chase was now well on track
Dhawan scored his second T20I half-century, making 60 off 44 balls. He ended up hitting a crisp drive off Taskin Ahmed straight to Sarkar, who took a fine diving catch at point. At this point India needed 22 to win off 14 balls.
That the well-set Kohli needed to face just 1 ball was testament to Dhoni’s brilliance. The Indian skipper promoted himself to No. 4 and slammed two sixes and a four off Al-Amin to finish the match with 7 balls to spare. It was a typical Dhoni finish, as the winning runs came in the form of a six.
Earlier, Mahmudullah played an invaluable cameo to take Bangladesh to a competitive 120 for 5 against India in the rain-shortened final of Asia Cup T20 2016 at Mirpur on Sunday.
Mahmudullah scored a tremendous 13-ball 33 not out, rescuing a floundering Bangladesh innings. India won the toss and elected to bowl first, with MS Dhoni -- captaining for the 200th time in international cricket -- opting to revert to his preferred line-up by recalling Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashish Nehra, and Ravindra Jadeja, who had been replaced by Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Pawan Negi for the match against UAE.
The move proved to be successful, as Ashwin was the pick of India’s bowlers with figures of 1 for 14 in his full quota of 3 overs.
India lost Rohit Sharma in the second over of their chase at the Shere Bangla Stadium but a breezy partnership of 94 runs between Dhawan and Kohli put MS Dhoni's team on track for their tenth win in 11 T20Is this year.
Bangladesh - 120 for 5 (Mahmudullah 33*, Sabbir Rahman 32*)
India - 122 for 2 (Dhawan 60, Kohli 41*, Dhoni 20*)
Result - India won by 8 wickets