The 14th series of Asia Cup concluded in delight, as India brought home their 6th trophy beating Bangladesh. Every team put up their best show and created some unforgettable moments. Check out the top 5 moments from the Asia Cup 2018.
Keeping past records in mind, no one expected Hong Kong to come as far as the team did. They qualified and went pass Oman, Malaysia, and Nepal. Their match with India was way more intense than what Indian fans thought. Captain Anshuman Rath and Nizakat Khan played exceptionally well and made 174 runs together. Their constant boundaries were making the Indian players worry and their win wasn’t evident even after Rath was out. With 26 runs ahead, team India had a close win against the players who gave their best.
Pakistan had gone up the Super Four stages and was ahead of Hong Kong. Their volatile side showed up again when they played against Afghanistan. Mohammad Nawaz took away three wickets in no time and then captain Asghar Afghan and Hashmatullah Shahidi took over. Shahidi ticked through for slow runs but Afghan’s 5 sixes smashed the innings. Pakistan was to chase 258 runs and that was quite a challenge in front of amazing bowlers like Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, and Mujeeb ur Rahman. The spins bowled down Fakhar quite soon, while Imam ul-Haq and Babar Azam went steady for a while. They too were out and captain Sarfraz Ahmed followed. All hopes were on Shoaib Malik who was playing his 269th ODI for Pakistan. The new father kept runs flowing in and hit crucially to get boundaries. There were 10 runs required off 6 and Shoaib ended with a 6 and 4 that led to victory.
Afghanistan and Bangladesh were at a crucial stage to get into the semi-finals and needed a must-win. Winning team Bangladesh was initially struggling but duo Imrul Kayes and Mahmadullah fought well to score 249. Afghanistan players Hashmatullah Shahidi and Mohammad Shahzad gave it back and were steady through 50 runs each. It was later backed up by players like Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari and Asghar Afghan.They just had 8 runs to win and that was when Mustafizur Rehman showed his real skills. Known to be one of the death bowlers worldwide, Rehman struck back and took a wicket. The viewers were thrilled as Rehman took Bangladesh to a sheer win.
Mohammad Shehzad and Mohammad Nabi took team Afghan to 253 and left Indian cricketers in distress. Indian cricketers started off well with Rahul and Rayadu, but then wickets started falling. Karthik, Dhoni, and Manish had a short stay but Jadhav and Jadeja brought the team back on track. In the final over, Rashid Khan was to bowl and the Indian men in blue needed 7 runs from 6. Jadeja slogged to get a four and then ran double, while Khaleel Ahmed made a single. It was a tie with one ball to go. Jadeja miss-timed the last hit by Rashid Khan and the ball soared up into the air. Zardan caught it and the match was a thrilling tie!
Asia Cup final witnessed a powerful India-Bangladesh face off – just as we expect finals to be! Bangladesh batsman Liton Das gave their team 121 runs and Bangladesh was on a high. However, the rest of the batsmen only took the match to a combined score of 223.
Indian cricketers were slow yet steady, but Bangladesh took several wickets. Rohit Sharma made 48, while Rayudu fell too soon. Dhoni and Karthik took the match ahead but were soon replaced by Jadhav and Jadeja. Jadhav was found limping and struggling to run for singles but ticked through along with Kuldeep to win the trophy. As Mahmadullah was prepared to bowl the last over, India needed 6 runs for 6 balls. The duo fought for singles and there was 1 run left from 1 ball. Jadhav limped his way through and brought India the historic win.