Dhawan, Kohli guide India to sixth Asia Cup title

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Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan scored a swashbuckling fifty to help his side crush Bangladesh by eight wickets and clinch the Asia Cup Twenty20 cricket title on Sunday.

Dhawan, who made just 19 in his previous three innings, smashed 60 off 44 balls guiding India to 122-2 in 13.5 overs after Bangladesh notched up 120-5 in a rain-drenched pitch.

The match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka was reduced to 15-over-a-side affair after storms delayed the start of play for two hours.

Dhawan and Virat Kohli, who scored 41 not out, put on 94 runs for the second wicket partnership.
Bangladesh's Al-Amin Hossain made an early strike to remove Rohit Sharma, who edged a catch to Soumya Sarkar, but Dhawan and Kohli denied any further breakthrough with sublime batting.

Taskin Ahmed ended Dhawan's innings in his second spell as Soumya again took a brilliant low catch at point, but it was too little too late for the home team.

Dhawan hit nine fours and a six, while Kohli struck five fours.

Indian skipper MS Dhoni, 20 not out, hit two sixes and a four in Al-Amin's final over to complete the victory.

"Thanks to the top-order batsmen, they have done the bulk of the job," Dhoni said after the match.

"We are on track for the World T20," he added, referring to the Twenty20 World Cup beginning in India next week.

It was India's sixth Asia Cup title - although their previous winning meets were all held in the old 50-over, one-day international format.

Earlier, an in-form Mahmudullah struck an unbeaten 33 off 13 balls to give Bangladesh what looked like a fighting score on a wet pitch.

Mahmudullah, who struck two fours and as many sixes, put on 45 runs in an unbroken sixth wicket stand with Sabbir Rahman.

Sabbir anchored the innings with an unbeaten 32 off 29 balls.

Batting first, Bangladesh made a positive start as Soumya and Tamim Iqbal gathered 27 runs in the opening partnership.

Indians Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah struck in back-to-back overs to dismiss Soumya (14) and Tamim (13), but Shakib Al Hasan ensured Bangladesh did not lose their way.

Shakib made 21 off 16 balls with three boundaries, before an attempted slog sweep off Ravichandran Ashwin brought an end to his innings.

Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim was run out for four and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza followed him in the next ball, giving Kohli a catch at deep midwicket off Ravindra Jadeja.

The 30-year old right-hander, who was unbeaten in his previous three innings in the tournament, hit Hardik Pandya a four and two sixes to score 19 runs in the penultimate over.

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe praised his team-mates for their effort.

"We couldn't win the final but congratulations to the boys for making it this far," he said. "They played really well."

Scoreboard:
 
Bangladesh
Tamim Iqbal lbw b Bumrah 13
Soumya Sarkar c Pandya b Nehra 14
Sabbir Rahman not out 32
Shakib Al Hasan c Bumrah b Ashwin 21
Mushfiqur Rahim run out 4
Mashrafe Mortaza c Kohli b Jadeja 0
Mahmudullah Riyad not out 33
Extras (w3) 3
Total (five wickets; 15 overs) 120
Fall of wickets:
1-27 (Soumya) 2-30 (Tamim), 3-64 (Shakib), 4-75 (Mushfiqur), 5-75 (Mashrafe)
Did not bat: Nasir Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain, Abu Hider, Taskin Ahmed
Bowling: Ashwin 3-0-14-1 (w1), Nehra 3-0-33-1 (w1), Bumrah 3-0-13-1, Jadeja 3-0-25-0, Pandya 3-0-35-0 (w1)

India
R. Sharma c Soumya b Al-Amin 1
S. Dhawan c Soumya b Taskin 60
V. Kohli not out 41
MS Dhoni not out 20
Extras 0
Total (two wickets; 13.5 overs) 122
Fall of wickets:
1-5 (Sharma), 2-99 ( Dhawan)
Did not bat: S. Raina, Y. Singh, H. Pandya, R. Jadeja, R. Ashwin, J. Bumrah, A. Nehra
Bowling: Taskin 3-0-14-1, Al-Amin 2.5-0-30-1, Hider 1-0-14-0, Shakib 2-0-26-0, Mashrafe 2-0-16-0, Nasir 3-0-22-0
Result: India won by eight wickets
Toss: India
Umpires: Shozab Raza (PAK) and Ruchira Palliyaguruge (SRI)
TV umpire: Enamul Haque (BAN)
Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZ)

India coasted to an emphatic eight-wicket win over Bangladesh to emerge Asia Cup champions for the sixth time in a rain-hit final reduced to 15 overs a side on Sunday.

Chasing a target of 121, India won with an over to spare making 122-2 in 13.5 overs with Dhoni who became the first captain to win the Asia Cup twice sealing victory by blasting a couple of sixes and a boundary off Al-Amin to win it in style.

India were set on course by a 94-run partnership for the second wicket between Shikhar Dhawan (60) and Virat Kohli (41 not out).

Dhoni clobbers Al-Amin for a towering six over midwicket to dash Bangladesh's faint hopes.

Sarkar takes a brilliant catch at point to dismiss Dhawan with victory in sight for India. Ind 99-2, 12.4 overs.

Shikhar Dhawan c Soumya Sarkar b Taskin Ahmed 60 (44b 9x4 1x6)

India are racing to victory with Kohli smashing a couple of boundaries off Hossain needing 24 off 18 balls. Ind 97-1, 12 overs.

Dhawan completes a half century slamming consecutive boundaries off Shakib as India need 39 off 24 balls. Ind 82-1, 11 overs.

India need 50 off 30 balls with Dhawan surviving a confident appeal for leg before off Hossain. Ind 71-1, 10 overs.

Dhawan flicks Mortaza over square leg for a massive six. Ind 68-1, 9 overs.

Kohli is in sublime touch getting a boundary by clipping Mortaza to fine leg as the 50 partnership with Dhawan comes in just 32 balls. Ind 55-1, 7 overs.

India are on course after hammering 29 in the last two overs requring 73 off 54 balls.

Shakib goes for 15 with Dhawan cracking a couple of boundaries. Ind 48-1, 6 overs.

Hider goes for 14 with Dhawan picking up a couple of boundaries with edges past the keeper. Ind 33-1, 5 overs.

Dhawan picks up a boundary in a tight over from Al-Amin off a misfield. Ind 19-1, 4 overs.

Al-Amin draws first blood as Rohit flashes at a delivery to edge to slip. Ind 5-1, 1.3overs.

Rohit Sharma c Soumya Sarkar b Al-Amin Hossain 1 (5b)

Dhawan hits the first boundary punching Taskin through point as India begin chasing 121. Ind 5-0, 1 over.

Bangladesh innings

A brilliant 13-ball 33 cameo by Mahmudullah has lifted Bangladesh to a competitive score of 120-5 after being put into bat.

Sabbir (32) shared in a 17-ball partnership of 41 with Mahmudullah.

Mahmudullah is on fire blasting two massive sixes as Pandya goes for 21. Ban 113-5, 14 overs.

Sabbir sizzles with a lap sweep for a boundary off Nehra who goes for 14. Ban 92-5, 13 overs.

Skipper Mortaza goes for a duck slamming straight down the throat of midwicket. Ban 75-5, 11.4 overs.

Mashrafe Mortaza c Kohli b Jadeja 0 (1b)

Bangladesh lose another as Rahim slides to beat a throw but his bat is up in the air. Ban 75-4, 11.3 overs.

Mushfiqur Rahim run out 4 (5b)

Ashwin strikes with the first ball of a new spell as Shakib sweeps only to top edge to short fine leg. Ban 64-3, 9.1overs.

Shakib Al Hasan c Bumrah b Ashwin 21 (16b 3x4)

Shakib gets into the act by smacking a couple of boundaries off Pandya. Ban 58-2, 8 overs.

Sabbir sizzles cracking a couple of boundaries off Jadeja. Ban 47-2, 7 overs.

Bumrah strikes as Tamim is rapped on the knee roll attempting to swing him out of the ground. Ban 30-2, 4.4 overs.

Tamim Iqbal lbw b Bumrah 13 (17b 2x4)

Nehra draws first blood after being hammered for three boundaries as Sarkar miscues a pull shot to midwicket. Ban 27-1, 4 overs.

Soumya Sarkar c Pandya b Nehra 14 (9b 3x4)

Tamim flicks Nehra's first ball through square leg for a boundary. Ban 11-0, 2 overs.

Sarkar drives Ashwin through the covers for the first boundary of the match. Ban 5-0, 1 over.

Russell Arnold and Mathew Hayden predict a cracker of a match to satiate the appetite of full house at Shere Bangla after an amazing mop up operation by the ground staff following heavy rain which threatened a wash out.

The good news is that there is going to be a 15-over per side match which is scheduled to begin at 7.30pm UAE time.

A miracle is about to happen as the covers are off with ground staff having done a magnificent job with the Russel Arnold confirming that the pitch is 'bone dry' while the only areas of concern are some areas in the outfield.

The good news is that it has stopped raining and the toss is likely after a pitch inspection.

A wet outfield caused a delay to the start of the Asia Cup T20 Final while the ground is in darkness because only one floodlight tower is operational.

Rain coupled with gusty winds have delayed the start of the Asia Cup final between Bangladesh and India at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday.

Rain showered the stadium around 6:15pm (1215GMT), more than an hour before the scheduled start of the match.

Thousands of fans who spent hours in the queues to collect tickets for the match were drenched or forced to take shelter under the galleries due to the unexpected downpour.

A 20-minute power failure, which followed the rain, only made the matter worse as the connection to the flood-lights has yet to be restored.  

The match has no reserve day, meaning the trophy will be shared in the event there is no play.  The cut-off time to finish the game is 10:50pm local time.   

Hosts Bangladesh are hoping to cause a major upset in the final in Dhaka by spoiling favourites India's preparations for the World Twenty20, which starts next week.

Top-ranked India crushed Mashrafe Mortaza's side by 45 runs in the opening match of the tournament, but the hosts have since executed a turnaround, winning three matches on the trot to qualify for the final.  

Bangladesh's five-wicket win over Pakistan on Wednesday, watched by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from a packed gallery, sparked jubilation in the cricket-mad nation.

India are five-times winners of the Asia Cup, which takes place every two years, although India's winning meets were all held in the previous 50-over one-day international format.

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