Asia Cup 2018 kicked off in style as Bangladesh registered a massive victory over Sri Lanka by 137 runs. Mushfiqur Rahim’s outstanding knock of 144 led Bangladesh to a competitive score of 261 in the first innings. In reply, the Islanders could only score 124 runs. Comeback man Lasith Malinga bagged four crucial wickets for his side while Dhananjaya De Silva picked up 2 wickets. As this was a one-sided affair, let us take you back to some of the most nail-biting encounters in the Asia Cup history:
India beat Pakistan by 3 wickets in 2010 (with 1 ball remaining)
This was one of the finest ODI games between India and Pakistan till date. After putting up a decent total of 267 on the board, Pakistan were confident of winning this encounter due to the presence of some great bowlers in their side. They kept Virender Sehwag quite but couldn’t stop Gautam Gambhir from scoring from the other end. The southpaw scored a magnificent 83 while skipper MS Dhoni too scored a good half-century.
In the end, it was Harbhajan Singh who smashed a couple of sixes to take his side across the winning rope. Before him, Suresh Raina’s 27-ball 34 set the tone for India. Gambhir was awarded Man of the Match for his stupendous innings.
Pakistan beat India by 1 wicket in 2014 (with 2 balls remaining)
It was indeed a revenge of 2010 match where the Men in Green beat the Men in Blue by 1 wicket with just 2 deliveries remaining. India set a competitive total of 245 in the first innings and even bowled beautifully to kept thing in their favour till the 45th over. But ‘Boom Boom’ Afridi showed his class in the end by snatching the game away from the Indians.
He stunned everyone with his quickfire knock of 34 off just 18 balls. Earlier in the innings, it was Mohammad Hafeez who scored a sensible 75 up the order. Hafeez was also rewarded with the Man of the Match trophy for his superb show with both bat and ball.
India beat Sri Lanka by 4 runs in 2004
It was a perfect game for every die-heart Indian cricket fan where the Men in Blue defeated the Islanders by 4 runs in the end. After batting first, Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag kicked off in style before the Master Blaster lost his wicket earlier than expected. Sehwag and Ganguly, who batted at number 3, added 134 runs for the 2nd wicket.
While Ganguly scored a sensible 79, Sehwag on the other hand, smashed a marvellous 81 off just 92 balls. In the end, India reached a good total of 271 in their 50 overs. Sri Lankans needed a century from one of their players and Sanath Jayasuriya did exactly the same. He took the match till the 48th over but then threw away his wicket to Virender Sehwag. India restricted Sri Lanka to 267 and won this classic Asia Cup encounter.
Pakistan beat Bangladesh by 2 runs in 2012 (Final)
Bangladesh can never ever forget this day as they got defeated by just 2 runs in the Asia Cup final. They came so close after playing tremendously but all their efforts went in vain. After batting first, Pakistan put 236 runs on the board which were less according to the wicket at Dhaka. It seemed like Bangladesh can do it this time but credit goes to Pakistan’s spinners who were not letting them play freely.
Tamim Iqbal scored 60, Shakib Al Hasan smashed 68, Masrafe Mortaza played his part but in the end, it was Pakistan who were successful in winning their 2nd Asia Cup title. Shahid Afridi was awarded Man of the Match for his exceptional performance with the bat as well as ball.