Anything can happen in cricket. The same ‘anything’ happened in the Nidahas Trophy finale between India and Bangladesh. The match ended on India’s note in more than just a brilliant style. It was a breathless thriller; especially the way India, more particularly, Dinesh Karthik, nicked the match from Bangladesh. His score of 29 playing 8 balls had a flurry of most profound T20 boundaries both India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka might have witnessed so far.
Karthik walked into the crease in a fairly desperate moment when India required 34 to win from 12 balls. It was his boundaries right from the first ball he played to the last that made the day for India. The Man of the moment, was definitely the Player of the Match.
India started chasing 166 runs by Bangladesh forging a strong partnership inning. It was Rohit Sharma who showed Bangladesh their early blues exploiting the powerplay stretch to the fullest. However, India kept on losing wickets on the other end until the chase rather came to a complete halt by the middle inning.
The slowdown began when Lokesh Rahul returned in the 10th over and a lethargic Vijay Shankar was promoted in place of Dinesh Karthik. It was a misfit to send a bowler in those imperative overs, and of course, it was not his mistake. In the stretch of about three overs run rate dropped drastically, while asking rate soared to over 13. In the same stretch, Rohit Sharma was taken down after he knocked an impressive boundary, a 42-ball-56. He played as the only beacon for more than half the inning.
While Mayank Pandey was successful to find a boundary or two, Vijay let the chase to a complete haywire as he failed even to touch those crucial deliveries in the 17th over from Mushtafizur Rahman. The match almost went to Bangladesh’s side as required score just seemed too much to expect from India batters. It was in this moment when Karthik came up to salvage the inning, beginning his enterprise with three straight boundaries in the first three balls he played, one of which was a six.
Still, the equation for India was disrupted again when Shankar struggled to add up whenever he was at the striking end. In fact, India had to lose all hope when Bangladesh bowlers strained down the match to 6 runs to win from 1 ball for India. Thanks to Vijay, at least he let Karthik to play the last ball of the match. It was this moment when the actual batting galore showed up. Karthik pounded a sharp six, barely a couple of meters above ground level on the mid-off, one of the most profound endings of T20 International match.
Earlier in the match, Bangladesh played an impressive inning, bolstered with Sabbir Rahman’s 77 off 50 balls. The player smashed 7 fours and 4 sixes to render a flashy momentum to the inning. While India bowlers failed to contain him, they were able to cut lose the other end. However, the score of 166 was never an easy target for India.
It is the unprecedented talents in the batting line-up filled with plethora of players that pulled up the tournament for India. Dinesh Karthik is definitely a find of the series, not only because of his concluding showdown, but also for his consistent performance throughout the tournament.
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