Asia Cup 2018 Final: Dominant India look to lift Cup for a record 7th time

The Men in Blue have enjoyed a smooth campaign throughout the tournament, emerging as the only side to remain unbeaten so far

Team India will be looking to lift the Asia Cup for a record 7th time with a dominant win in the final against neighbours Bangladesh on Friday.

The Men in Blue have enjoyed a smooth campaign throughout the tournament, emerging as the only side to remain unbeaten so far. Bangladesh, on the other hand, endured a topsy-turvy campaign with star batsman Tamim Iqbal ruled of the tournament due to a fractured wrist. The two sides had previously battled it out in the 1st match of the Super Four stage with the Indian team emerging victorious by a margin of 7 wickets on the back of an impressive performance by comeback man Ravindra Jadeja.

Bangladesh were restricted to a score of just 173 on the back of a matchwinning spell by Jadeja who picked 4 wickets while conceding just 29 runs. Pace-bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar were extremely effective as well, with 3 wickets apiece in an economical bowling display. Captain Rohit Sharma ensured a comfortable win for his side with a 104 ball 83 comprising of 5 boundaries and 3 sixes with Ambati Rayadu and Mahendra Singh Dhoni ensuring a composed finish.

There is certainly no love lost between the two sides having battled it out previously in the finals of the 2016 edition of the Asia Cup as well. The Indian team led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni went on to lift the trophy by a margin of 8 wickets on the back of an all-round performance. Bangladesh will be eager to extract revenge with a victory on Friday.

The Men in Blue will be looking to avoid any complacency in their approach ahead of the game after a scare in their last clash against Afghanistan. All-rounder Rashid Khan nearly caused an upset with an excellent spell, with 7 runs to defend in his last over in a chase of 252. Jadeja was dismissed after attempting to smash the ball for a six with just 1 run required in 2 balls which will serve as a timely reminder.

Bangladesh, on the other hand, ensured a 37-run-win against rivals Pakistan in a must-win clash with a target of just 239 on the board. The bowling attack led by pace-bowler Mustafizur Rahman who picked 4 wickets while conceding just 43 runs managed to pick wickets at crucial intervals restricting the opposition to a score of just 202 despite a crucial knock by batsman Imam-ul-Haq. However, the side will have their work cut out with all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan ruled out due to an injury.

Teams (From)

India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Manish Pandey, Siddarth Kaul, KL Rahul, Deepak Chahar

Bangladesh: Masrafe Bin Mortaza (captain), Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Mithun, Litton Kumar Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Ariful Haque, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nazmul Islam Apu, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Haider Rony

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