Hero –Nidahas Tri Nation T20 Trophy Final Match Played at Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Brief Score Card: India 168/6( RG Sharma 56 , KD Karthik 29 , MK Pandey 28 , KL Rahul 24 , Rubel 2/35 ) beat Bangladesh 166/7 ( SabbirRahman 77, Mahmudullah 21 , MehedyMiraj 19* , YS Chahal 3/18 , JD Unadkat 2/33) by 4 wickets
KD Karthik keeping his cool struck a winning six on the last ball of the final of Hero Nidahas Triangular T20 trophy . India remained unbeaten for Bangladesh in that format. Fitting to the nature of the contest the match had absorbing actions, nail biting excitement, noisy crowd cheering their favorite team and bitter contest of bat and ball. Fittingly till last ball of the match the match could have gone either way. Set to scoring 167 for the win India did it in the last ball of the match breaking the heart of millions of Bangladeshis all over the world. Two nights back Mahmudullah knocked home team Sri Lanka out with an outrageous six scored of the penultimate ball of the match. Yesterday, Bangladesh was on the receiving end. When tiger fans were about to be ready for unleashing cobra dance Karthik struck that massive blow of Soumya’s last over clinching the thriller for India.
In retrospect few things may be said about the match. Why out of sorts Soumya was played in the match? He is an opener struggling finding his feet. Why he was slotted at four when inform Mushfique, Mahmudullah or even Shakib were better choice? Why Mahmudullah did not ball a single delivery? Why Mehedy Miraj could not be given a second over even? Given all these T20 final would not see a much closer contest than this .Musafiz bowled a spectacular wicket maiden in 18th over. The best bowler of Bangladesh on the day Rubel was blasted in his last over the 19th of the team bringing the equation down for India to 12 for the win in the last over. Shakib opted for part timer Soumya. He did not bowl that bad till the last ball until Karthik struck that meaty blow winning the thrilling encounter and setting Premdasa and India on hollie like joy.
India played three matches against Bangladesh in the competition and won all three. Bangladesh played two against Sri Lanka and won two. Home crowd backed India on the day perhaps for the loss to Bangladesh other day. The gallery was mostly filled with Indian supporters with only few tigers out there.
Earlier, Rohit keeping up with the tradition of the tournament elected to field after winning the toss. Bangladesh played unchanged team of the last match. The wicket was turning and gripping. India had their resources for exploiting it. Chahaland Sundar strangled Bangladesh. Tamim, Liton and Soumya could do very little. When Mushfique also went cheaply Bangladesh was seen struggling at 4/68 in 11th over. Chahal did most of the damage taking 3/18. Sunar took the wicket of Liton. However, Sabbir after a while was in prolific form. Him and Mahmudullah were doing great rescuing act till a brain freeze of Sabbir caused a costly run out of in form Mahmudullah at a crunch time. Shakib came late and was just stroking into gear when he was also run out .Sabbir went on playing some glorious strokes .When he got out scoring 77 of 50 deliveries it was left to Mehedy Miraj playing a blinder of 19 unbeaten innings of only 17 deliveries for taking Bangladesh to a challenging score of 166/7.
Indian response of Rohit and Dhawan was typically aggressive with Sharma striking meaty blows. Shakib started the proceeding from one end. But perhaps bringing off spinner Siraj from the other side helped Rohit setting his bearings early. Shakib removed Dhawan and Rubel accounted for Raina.
However ,Rohit went on merrily and Rahul started finding his touch. But in the middle overs Bangladesh put the squuze drying up the runs through some smart bowling. Rubel removed Rahul and Opu taking the wicket of Rohit brought Bangladesh into contention. When Pandey was removed by Mustafiz in his brilliant last over, the 18th of innings India still required 34 in 12 deliveries. Shakib brought on his best bowler of the day Rubel. Unfortunately Rubel over cost 22 much to the brilliance of Karthik and Shankar . Still 12 runs were required in the last over. Shakib could bring experienced Mahmudullah into attack. In domestic T20 Mahmudullah won many tight matches bowling the last overs. Instead part timer Soumya was given responsibility. He did not do all that bad till the last ball when 5 runs still separated India and a win. Brilliant Karthik did what was the call. His mighty blow won the match for India keeping Bangladesh waiting for longer for its first ever T20 win against India. On the over all summing the best team of the tournament won the trophy. Bangladesh has to learn how to remain cool in the final of any tournament. Perhaps more exposure would do on due course.
Bangladesh was a bowler short .Soumya did very little justifying his inclusion in all matches .Ariful or even Imrul Kayes could be tried. Perhaps Shakib has his explanation why Miraj was not given a second over or Mahmudullah was not bowled. But we must give due credit to KD Karthik and team India for winning the thriller. India even with a depleted team won a tri nation tournament underlying the depth and diversity of the resources.
BDST: 1030 HRS, MAR 19, 2018