Fresh from a thrilling win in their last league game against hosts Sri Lanka, Bangladesh will have their tails up as they prepare to take on a confident India in the final of the Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series at the R. Premadasa Stadium here on Sunday. In any case, as the adage goes, the best sides locked horns in the finals.
Fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman gave away just one run in the 18th over and took the wicket of Pandey to give Bangladesh the edge. His 42-balls innings was laced with four boundaries and three sixes. In the first game, Bangladesh chased down mammoth 215 and in the second encounter, which was termed as the virtual semi-final, Sri Lanka faced defeat in a clash which saw emotions run high. Lokesh Rahul was looking in great touch before he mistimed a pull into the hands of Rubel Hossain fielding in the deep. We've played really well in this tournament and to not win the final would have been unfortunate. Both added 35 runs off 28 balls when the asking rate was over 10 an over (Image courtesy: AFP) Man of the Tournament (left) and Man of the Match in the same frame. He could only manage 3 fours in his inning which brought India in deep trouble. He took a special liking to Vijay and Thakur; Vijay in particular bled runs as Sabbir targeted his slower balls with success. He played four back-to-back dot balls in the 18 over which brought India under huge pressure. In reply, India scored 168-6 at the end of 20 overs, courtesy a strong half-century from their captain and a composed finish from Dinesh Karthik. Sarkar was given the final over to save 12 runs off it which he failed to do eventually.
On Sunday, he put the brakes on Bangladesh openers' scoring rate with clever variations in pace.
Karthik hits final-ball six to win Nidahas Trophy
India needed 34 runs of 12 balls when Dinesh Karthik came to bat. When it finally came towards him, Karthik produced the cricketing definition of batting excellence, seeing the ball as early as possible and playing it as late as possible, the bat describing a free-flowing arc, sending the ball sailing over the cover fence.
The work was not yet done with India needing 12 in the final over and with Shankar on strike in his first global innings. They have four batsmen they rely on for runs, and the contribution from the rest is considered bonus due to its scarcity.
Asked why Mehidy Hasan Miraz was given just one over, Shakib replied: "That was pre-planned, who we wanted to bowl because most of our players can bowl". However Sabbir Rahman played a blinder (77 off 50) as India's pacers bore the brunt in the death overs.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal claimed three wickets to rattle the Bangladesh batting early including the prized scalp of the in-form Mushfiqur Rahim for nine. He had gone for 13 off his three overs and picked two wickets.