The Asia Cup delivered another last-over
thriller as Bangladesh edged past India by just six runs in Colombo to end
their Super 4 campaign on a high note. After half-centuries from Shakib al
Hasan and Towhid Hridoy took Bangladesh to 265, the Tigers produced an inspired
collective bowling effort to defend the score.
Shubman Gill laced his fifth ODI ton to
drive the Indian effort but received little support from the rest as the Men in
Blue fell short to suffer their first defeat of the Asia Cup.
Having already qualified for Sunday’s
final, India made five changes for the virtual dead rubber against Bangladesh,
resting the likes of Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Jasprit Bumrah. The
visitors got off to the perfect start with the new ball as Mohammed Shami and Shardul
Thakur rocked the Bangladeshi top order, removing the top three inside the
opening six overs of the innings.
Axar Patel chipped in with the wicket of
Mehidy Hasan Miraz to leave Bangladesh reeling at 59/4 in 14 overs, but Shakib
al Hasan and Towhid Hridoy guided the side out of choppy waters with a century
stand. India struggled to make the breakthroughs in the middle in the absence
of Kuldeep Yadav, with Shakib milking left-arm spinners Jadeja and Axar without
Shardul Thakur broke the stand with the
skipper’s wicket for 80, while Jadeja added another to reduce the side to 161/6.
But lower-order efforts from Nasum Ahmed and Mahedi Hasan helped the Tigers add
93 off the last 12 overs of the innings to post a competitive total of 265.
Chasing teams have struggled at the
Premadasa throughout the Asia Cup, and India stumbled early on with Rohit
Sharma departing in the first over to hand Tanzin Hasan his maiden ODI scalp.
Hasan also accounted for the debutant Tilak Varma in his next over, who
shouldered arms to an incoming delivery.
KL Rahul also departed cheaply, picking out
mid-wicket against Mahedi Hasan, but Shubman Gill kept India in the hunt,
getting to his half-century off 61 deliveries with a six over the leg-side. The
lack of support from the other end, though, was telling.
Ishan Kishan never looked settled in his
brief 15-ball stay, while Shakib sent back Suryakumar Yadav’s off-stump for 26.
Gill continued his charge, smashing Mehidy for two sixes over long-on and
keeping up the attack after passing three figures. The opener struck five sixes
in his stunning innings but faltered when trying to chase a wide delivery from
Mahedi Hasan, holing out to long-off with 57 still to get.
Axar Patel kept the contest alive with a
few big hits, taking the equation down to 17 off 12 balls, but Mustafizur and
Tanzim Hasan closed out the game superbly for Bangladesh, picking up the final
two wickets to give them a narrow win over India by six runs.