Published on: Sep 16, 2023
Shakib Al Hasan (80 off 85 & 1/43) led from the front as Bangladesh beat India by six runs in the final Super 4 match of Asia Cup 2023 at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday, September 15. While the match itself was an inconsequential one in terms of the tournament as the finalists had already been decided, Bangladesh registered a morale-boosting win - their first over India in the Asia Cup since 2012 in Mirpur.
Having confirmed their place in the final, India rested as many as five players, including Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah for the game against Bangladesh. They won the toss and bowled first. Things began on an optimistic note as Mohammed Shami bowled Litton Das for a duck, while the golden arm of Shardul Thakur saw the back of Tanzid Hasan (13) and Anamul Haque (4).
When Axar Patel dismissed Mehidy Hasan Miraz (13), Bangladesh were in all sorts of trouble at 59/4 after 14 overs. Skipper Shakib and Towhid Hridoy (54 off 81), however, brought their team back in the contest, adding 101 runs for the fifth wicket. While Shakib hit, six fours and three sixes, Hridoy struck five fours and two sixes.
There was no respite for Indian bowlers even after the two set batters were dismissed. Nasum Ahmed (44 off 45) and Mahedi Hasan (29 not out off 23) played important knocks to take Bangladesh to 265. In hindsight, India paid the price for failing to knock over the lower order of the opposition yet again.
India also got off to a poor start in the chase. Skipper Rohit Sharma was out for a duck to debutant Tanzim Hasan Sakib. The pacer also won the battle of debutants against Tilak Varma, cleaning up the batter for 5 as he shouldered arms. Both keeper-batters KL Rahul (19) and Ishan Kishan (5) fell to Bangladesh’s spinners.
Even as wickets kept falling, Shubman Gill (121 off 133) played a terrific knock, finding the boundaries at will. He had Suryakumar Yadav (26 off 34) for company as the duo added 45 runs for the fifth wicket. India, however, needed a lot more from SKY when he was bowled attempting the sweep against Shakib.
Ravindra Jadeja was then bowled by Mustafizur Rahman for 7. With the run rate creeping, Gill was forced to take risks and he perished in the endeavor, caught near the ropes off Mahedi Hasan. Axar kept India’s hopes alive, striking three fours and two sixes in his defiant 42 off 34 balls. He, however, failed to take India over the line and fell to Mustafizur in the penultimate over.
--By A Cricket Correspondent