Dinesh Karthik hits last-ball six
Colombo, March 18: Dinesh Karthik smacked a six off the last ball to help India register a thrilling four-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the final of the Nidahas Trophy T20 Tri-Series at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday. It was a dramatic end to the chase as Karthik hit a flat six over extra cover with India needing five to win with one ball left.
India were in control as they reached 132/4 after 17 overs in pursuit of Bangladesh’s 166/8, but Mustafizur Rahman had a different plan as he bowled a terrific wicket-maiden 18th over, conceding just a leg bye to the under-pressure rookie Vijay Shankar and dismissing Manish Pandey off the last ball. The equation changed to 34 off two overs when Karthik came in to bat, but the experienced finisher – he was Man of the Match in India’s very first T20I back in 2006 – displayed immense calmness to smash Rubel Hossain for a couple of sixes and fours to score 22 runs in the penultimate over.
The match was still not over with India needing 12 in the final over and with Shankar was on strike in his first International innings. The all-important final over started with a wide and a dot ball, before Shankar took a single. Karthik could manage just one in the next ball to leave the equation at nine from three balls. Shankar hit a four before falling off the penultimate delivery – mistiming a lofted shot down the ground – and Karthik took India home in style with a shot heard around the world.
The skipper Rohit Sharma had given India a flying start (24/0 in two overs) but they lost Shikhar Dhawan (10) and Suresh Raina (0) in six balls to slip to 32/2 in 3.3 overs. Rohit kept the scoring rate high and along with KL Rahul resurrected the chase. The duo put on 51 runs for the third wicket in six overs to keep India in the hunt, a stand that ended when Rahul top-edged Rubel Hossain in the tenth over. Rahul scored 24 off 14 balls, which included a six and two fours. The wicket put a break on India’s run rate.
Rohit completed his 14th T20I fifty off 35 balls in the 12th over, but the runs almost dried up as the skipper and Pandey managed just 15 runs in the next 3.5 overs. Rohit fell for 56 to Nazmul Islam in the 14th over with India needing 69 in 40 balls. Thankfully for them, they had Karthik to follow.
Earlier, Sabbir Rahman (77 off 50 balls) helped Bangladesh post 166/8. Yuzvendra Chahal (3/18) and Jaydev Unadkat (2/33) took wickets at regular intervals, but Sabbir kept the scoreboard ticking from one end.
Bangladesh’s innings was also dented by two run-outs but Mehidy Hasan (19 not out off seven balls) compensated by scoring 18 runs off Shardul Thakur’s final over. For India, Washington Sundar (1/20) also had a good outing but Shankar (0/48) and Thakur (0/45) gave away 93 runs in eight overs.
Sent in to bat, Bangladesh had a good start but lost three wickets in ten balls to be reduced to 33/3 after five overs. Sundar gave India an early breakthrough when he dismissed Liton Das (11) in the fourth over and then Chahal rattled the innings with a double strike in the fifth. First, Tamim Iqbal was caught at the long-on boundary line where Thakur took an excellently judged catch and four balls later, Soumya Sarkar, while trying to sweep, hit straight to Dhawan at backward square.
Rahman, along with Mushfiqur Rahim, stabilised the innings with a 35-run stand for the fourth wicket in 5.1 overs. Rahman targeted all-rounder Shankar to increase the scoring rate as he hit a six and a four in consecutive balls to take the team over 50-mark. Chahal broke the partnership in the 11th over by dismissing the in-form Rahim (9).
Bangladesh lost skipper Shakib Al Hasan (7) in the 17th over through another run out. Unadkat then ended Rahman’s innings in the penultimate over before dismissing Rubel Hossain for his second. (TNN)