Bangladesh beat India ahead of Asia Cup final

COLOMBO -A combined bowling effort, fol­lowed by Shakib Al Hasan and Towhid Hridoy’s half-centuries powered Bangladesh to a stun­ning six-run victory over India ahead of the Asia Cup 2023 final on Sunday. Set to chase 266, India could accumulate 259 before be­ing bundled out in the final over despite Shubman Gill’s century. Gill waged a lone battle for India with a 133-ball 121 which fea­tured eight boundaries and five sixes. Besides him, Axar Patel, who kept India in the hunt until the penultimate, was the other notable run-getter for India with a gutsy 42-run knock, laced with three boundaries and two sixes.

Mustafizur Rahman led the bowling attack for Bangladesh in their farewell Asia Cup 2023 fix­ture with 3/50 while debutant Tanzim Hasan Sakib and Mahedi Hasan bagged two each. Put into bat first, Bangladesh put on a decent total on the board at the back of a combined effort, led by their skipper Shakib.

Bangladesh, however, had a contrasting start to their in­nings as the Indian pacers ran through their top order to leave them reeling at 28/3 in 5.4 overs. Came out to bat at number five, skipper Shakib attempted to stabilize Bangla­desh’s innings as he put togeth­er a brief partnership with Me­hidy Hasan Miraz, who fell after a scratchy 13-run knock.

Following the slump, Shakib Al Hasan finally found subtle support at the other end in the form of Towhid Hridoy and they soon launched an astounding recovery. The pair put together 101 runs for the fifth wicket before Shardul Thakur castled Shakib in the 34th over. He re­mained the top-scorer for Ban­gladesh in the last Asia Cup 2023 Super 4s match with an 85-ball 80 which featured six boundaries and three sixes.

Bangladesh were then rocked with another blow as Ravindra Jadeja trapped Shamim Hossain (1) trapped in his legs in the next over. However, Towhid Hridoy stood his ground firm and kept the scoreboard ticking before fi­nally perishing in the 42nd over, briefly after completing his half-century. He scored a cautious 54 off 81 balls with the help of five boundaries and two sixes.

Nasum Ahmed then took the reigns of Bangladesh’s batting charge after Hridoy’s dismissal and frustrated the Indian bowl­ers at the backend. Ahmed played a brisk 44-run knock which featured six boundaries and a six. He was also involved in a crucial 45-run partnership for the eighth wicket with Mahe­di Hasan, who scored 29 not out.

Shardul Thakur led the bowl­ing attack for India in the last Asia Cup 2023 Super 4s fixture with 3/65, followed by Moham­med Shami’s 2/32. Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Prasidh Krishna, on the other hand, made one scalp each.

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