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Dhoni’s Timely Bombardment Spreads Water on Bangladesh Dream to Win Asia Cup for the First Time

Dhoni’s Timely Bombardment Spreads Water on Bangladesh Dream to Win Asia Cup for the First Time

March 07
13:17 2016

2016New Delhi, Monday, March 7 – It was one of the most dramatic day at Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka – the venue where final between India and Bangladesh took place on Sunday. Weather changed rapidly, almost playing spoilsport. The total blackout was the worst thing that could have happened.

Hundreds of thousands of fans who reached the stadium much prior to the match were in sheer disappointment as they did not want trophy to get shared by the teams. They eyed a clear winner as everyone waited for long for the mega show. Best point for the home crowd was to see Bangladesh in the last blow thanks to great performance in Asia Cup, beating both Pakistan and Sri Lanka. They logged win on United Arab Emirates as well but victories against the powerhouses were special, boosting confidence of players to do well in the grand finale as well.

In the rain-hit match a day ago, pressure was on both teams. Thanks to great efforts and quick steps by the groundsmen, pitch was dry and so was the field. Outfield was wet and that was to change mood of the ball, making it a tad heavy. Mahendra Singh Dhoni went with the same Playing XI who competed against Sri Lanka. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah were the parts of team. Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan Singh, Pawan Negi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Parthiv Patel sat on bench. Many were taken by surprise by Dhoni’s decision of not employing Kumar in the match as he bowled perfectly well in the previous match. However, the Indian skipper is known for doing something unexpected and proving his experiments right on more than a few occasions.

Bangladesh squad included Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza – the captain, Abu Hider, Al-Amin Hossain and Taskin Ahmed. Nurul Hasan, Imrul Kayes, Arafat Sunny and Mohammad Mithun were in extras yesterday. India won the toss and elected to bowl first. Decision to invite opponents to bat first was to restrict them at a total that can be chased with less or no trouble. Had the host won the toss, they would have gone for bowling first too as it is always better to keep possible target in mind when the game is all about winning the title in the end.

Support for Mortaza-led Bangladesh was huge. The stadium was jam-packed with fans who turned up to back their team. Fans of all age group were elated to see match to start in a short while. Both teams were to play 15-15 overs as the game started late due to sudden transition in climatic conditions. If a fleeting look is given over the scoring pattern at the venue then it will be discovered that average first inning score is 144 and average second inning score is 124. Highest score of 204 for the loss of five wickets in 20 overs was set by the Black Caps in opposition to Bangladesh, whereas the lowest total of 72 for the loss of 10 wickets in 17.1 overs was set by Afghanistan against Bangladesh. In addition to this, 179 runs for the loss of four wickets were the highest chased by West Indies in opposition to Australia. In contrast, lowest total of 107 was defended by Sri Lanka Playing XI in opposition to West Indies.

The tourists got desired start as Soumya Sarkar fell short to Nehra post scoring 14 runs off 9 balls. Despite the fact that he sent the ball towards the fences thrice, he did not succeed to stay on the crease for long and help the team to continue attaining runs in speed. The opener Tamim Iqbal was given legs before wicket on Bumrah’s delivery in 4.4 over. He pocked 13 runs off 17 balls, together with a couple of boundaries. Shakib Al Hasan succumbed to Ashwin but before going back to the pavilion, he made sure to lift the pressure up to a certain extent. The 28-year-old player scored 21 runs of 16 balls, inclusive of three 4s. Sabbir Rahman, on the other hand, tried his best to run for ones and twos and hit shots whenever possible, steadily taking Bangladesh towards a strong zone. He played a not out knock of 32 runs that came in 29 balls and comprised two fours as well.

After Hasan’s dismissal, hopes were up from Mushfiqur Rahim but the wicket-keeper was run out when Kohli collected the ball on the dot and Dhoni as usual did not make any mistake in taking the bails off. Rahim was a tad unlucky as his bat was in air while attempting to reach safely in the crease. 4 runs were attained by him in five balls. His effort to take a slide in order to beat a throw by Delhi boy did not pay off and he had to go back probably with a thought whether to run or not when some great fielders are around.

Mashrafe Mortaza failed to play a like a skipper post Kohli pouched the ball excellently when Jadeja delivered a ball. Mortaza was out for a duck. The one who really made the crowd cheer louder was Mahmudullah, who played a not out knock of 33 runs off 13 balls that included two fours and same number of sixes. He gave Indian bowlers a tough time, letting them struggle to bowl in a length that could earn his wicket. However, none succeeded in this department. Bangladesh who were probable to get somewhere around 100 or 110 got 120 runs after 15 over play for the loss of 5 wickets. Except Pandya, Ashwin, Nehra, Bumrah and Jadeja got one wicket apiece.

When it came to chasing the target, India lost first wicket early in the form of Rohit Sharma who was surprised by Al-Amin in his first over. Soumya Sarkar was appointed on time at the slip to give tourists first jolt. The opener was dismissed at 1 run. In contrast, Shikhar Dhawan look determined to exceed expectations. His 60-run knock off 44 balls (4 x 9 and 6 x 1) at least pointed towards this. Before Sarkar took another catch in Taskin Ahmed’s over, Dhawan and Virat Kohli did much damage to Bangladesh. However, getting a bit sluggish while running for a single where two was possible worried several Indian cricket fans. When many thought Raina or Yuvraj to come up next and take India towards the victory, Dhoni amazed them by marking his own appearance.

At a stage where it could have been anybody’s game, Dhoni changed the entire statistics with a long six that went miles away. His bombardment in 14th over spread buckets of water on Bangladesh’s dream to win Asia Cup. Virat Kohli was not out at 41 runs that consisted of five boundaries too. Dhoni was not out at 20 runs attained in only 6 balls (4 x 1 and 6 x 2). The winning six from Dhoni – one of the great finishers helped India win first-ever Asia Cup T20 title by 8 wickets. It is the 6th time when the Men in Blue won the trophy, the most by any team. Dhawan received Player of the Match award while Sabbir Rahman was awarded Player of the Series. Eyes of Indian camp is now to outperform others in T20 World Cup that is to start from tomorrow at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur.

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