Nidahas Trophy Final: India crowned champions behind Karthik’s last-ball six

Dinesh Karthik 28 not out last-ball six India Bangladesh Nidahas Trophy final cricket

Dinesh Karthik celebrates after leading to a nail-biting win

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Dinesh Karthik stole the show in the final of the Nidahas Trophy as he smashed a six off the last ball to lead India to a heart-racing four-wicket win over Bangladesh in Colombo.

Choosing to bowl first, India put Bangladesh under pressure early on as Liton Das, Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar were all dismissed in quick succession.

Just as Bangladesh seemed to be recovering from their disastrous start, they were dealt a huge blow as the in-form Mushfiqur Rahim was caught by Vijay Shankar off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal for nine runs.

Mahmudullah managed to make a quickfire 21, while captain Shakib Al Hasan only made seven runs before he was run out by India stand-in captain Rohit Sharma.

Sabbir Rahman was the only Bangladesh batsman to put up a fight as he smashed 77 off 50 balls, which included seven boundaries and four sixes, before he was clean bowled by Jaydev Unadkat.

Sabbir Rahman 77 India Bangladesh Nidahas Trophy final cricket

Sabbir Rahman scored his fourth half-century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Thanks to Sabbir, Bangladesh finished on 166/8 off their 20 overs.

Chahal was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Unadkat took two and Washington Sundar chipped in with one.

Chasing 167 to win, India did not get off to the best of starts as they lost Shikhar Dhawan for 10 runs and Suresh Raina for a duck.

However, Rohit and Lokesh Rahul came to the rescue with a 51-run partnership before Rahul was dismissed by Rubel Hossain for 24.

Rohit went on to score 56 off 42 balls, which included four boundaries and three sixes, before he was caught by Mahmudullah at long-on off the bowling of Nazmul Islam.

Rohit Sharma 56 India Bangladesh Nidahas Trophy final cricket

Rohit Sharma struck his 14th half-century in the shortest format

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Manish Pandey managed to make 28, but Karthik and Shankar kept India in the hunt.

Heading into the final over, India needed 12 runs to win, but they only managed to get three runs off the first three balls, even though Sarkar bowled a wide.

Shankar struck a boundary off the fourth ball before being dismissed on the penultimate ball of the match.

With five runs separating them from victory, Karthik walloped a six over cover to lead India to a thrilling win.

Karthik finished on 29 off eight balls, which included two boundaries and three sixes.

Rubel was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Shakib, Nazmul, Sarkar and Mustafizur Rahman claimed one wicket each.

Shakib was gutted to have lost, and said: “You can’t ask for more in a final like this. I thought we played superbly, anybody could have won the game, but India held their nerves well. We wanted to bowl our best bowler in the 18th and 19th. But even if Rubel had gone for 15 an over, we could have handled it. He didn’t miss his length too much but credit to Dinesh Karthik to just come out and hit sixes from his first ball.

“We knew 166 would be tough to defend, we had a good feeling though, everyone did their best, gave their 100%. It hurts to lose, but we played well. [Mehidy only one over] It was pre-planned, who we wanted to bowl, but all of our bowlers can bowl. We can still take lots of positives from here and someday we can be on the winning side.”

Rohit was relieved to have won, and said: “Brilliant game, brilliant for the crowd who have come out in numbers. The support we got here from this crowd was brilliant, it would be a bit different if we were playing Sri Lanka but I would like to thank them for their show tonight.

“Great tournament for us. Young lads. Lot of learning. We always knew they had the talent, but it was about executing and this tournament will give them a lot of confidence. Everybody who played, they showed lots of character. These games are not easy and these guys have not played a lot for the national team. And this performance will give them a lot of confidence.

“It was quite easy to lead them. A lot of work has been done of the field in terms of strategy so it was very easy for me to remind them what we spoke of in our meeting and I thought they just executed them perfectly, in the Powerplay, middle overs and the death.

“Some of them went for runs, but they will learn from it and today was a real platform to show what we could do. Very happy to see Dinesh doing what he did, he didn’t get much game time until now, but he showed his power. We held him back because of his finishing ability and his experience. And it paid off. I always had a lot of faith in our batting group and we were confident after keeping them to a par score.”

Karthik was named Man of the Match, and said: “Really happy to come out of this performance. Really happy for the team. We’ve played really well in this tournament and to not win the final would have been unfortunate. It was not that easy to bat there. The way Musftazur bowled… So I just had to go out there and hit the ball hard.

“I have been practicing keeping a good base and hitting through the line and luckily it came out well. The Indian team is a tough place to get an opportunity, but once you get it, you have to take it. And credit to the backroom staff, they have always supported me and I’m really happy.”

Leave a Reply