Here’s how India made to their 10th Asia cup final
Here’s how India made to their 10th Asia cup final

India, san Virat Kohli, made it to the final of the Asia Cup 2018 without losing a single game, though didn’t win all the games either, the six-time Asian champions hardly broke a sweat in the wins. They were ran close by Afghanistan when they rested five players for their final Super Four match. Up next for them in the summit clash is a spirited Bangladesh side who got the better of Pakistan in their last Super Four match.

Here’s how India made to their 10th Asia cup final

4th Match, Group A, at Dubai, Sep 18 2018

Beat Hong Kong by 26 runs

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India opened their campaign with Asia Cup qualifiers Hong Kong and while it was viewed by many as just a warm-up game for the No.1 ranked, team, Hong Kong put in a spirited performance ending up with 259 in chase of India’s 285 for seven.

After being put into bat, Shikhar Dhawan set aside his England disappointment with 127 off 120 deliveries while Ambati Rayudu added 60 off 70. Stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma missed out scoring just 23. MS Dhoni was out for a duck to off spinner Ehsan Khan.

Hong Kong openers Nizakat Khan (92) and Anshuman Rath (73) made India wait for a wicket for 35 overs, but once Kuldeep Yadav got rid of Rath, the floodgates were opened. Debutant Khaleel Ahmed impressed with 3 for 48

5th Match, Group A, at Dubai, Sep 19 2018

Beat Pakistan by 8 wickets

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The proper tournament opener for many fans, India stepped it up big time with a returning Bhuvneshwar Kumar walking away with the Man-of-the-Match award. After opting to bat first, Bhuvneshwar sent back Pakistan’s in-form openers Imam ul Haq and Fakhar Zaman by the fifth over. Spinners kicked in with Kedar Jadhav smart off spin fetching him 3 for 23 as Pakistan’s batting unit failed and struggled to 162. Babar Azam top-scored with 47.

In reply, Rohit (52) and Dhawan (46) added a match-winning 86 before Ambati Rayudu (31*) and Dinesh Karthik (31*) completed the formalities.

1st Match, Super Four, at Dubai, Sep 21 2018

Beat Bangladesh by 7 wickets

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On to the Super Fours and the bowlers came to the fore once again bundling out Bangladesh for 173. This time it was the returning RAvindra Jadeja who inflicted the most damage with 4 for 29, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar added three each. Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s 42 at No.9 was the only notable contribution for Bangladesh.

In reply, Rohit steered the chase with an unbeaten 83 while Dhawan added 40. Dhoni finally got some time in the middle making 33.

3rd Match, Super Four, at Dubai, Sep 23 2018

Beat Pakistan by 9 wickets

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The round two marquee Asia Cup clash again proved to a damp squib. While Pakistan did better posting 237 for 7 in their 50 overs, Rohit (111*) and Dhawan (114) made short work of the target adding 210 for the opening wicket in just 33.3 overs. Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep took wickets each

5th Match, Super Four, at Dubai, Sep 25 2018

Tied with Afghanistan

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With a place in the final already assured India rested Rohit, Dhawan, Chahal, Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar. However, Khaleel, debutant Deepak Chahar and Siddarth Kaul were taken for runs as Mohammad Shahzad hit an 88-ball hundred followed by a 56-ball 64 by Mohammad Nabi. Afghanistan ended with 252 for 8.

In reply, after Rayudu (57) and KL Rahul’s (60) 110-run stand for the opening wicket, Afghanistan crawled back and chipped away. Karthik (44) and Dhoni (8) were victims of wrong umpiring decision, but failure of Manish Pandey (8) and Kedar Jadhav’s unfortunate run-out (25) meant Afghanistan took the game to the last over. Star player Rashid Khan managed to defend seven, giving away six runs in the over helping him team to a memorable tie against India.