In 2016 Asia Cup T20 tournament total eleven matches were played starting from February 24 to March 6. India played five matches including the final to notch the championship. Matches played by India puts up adequate light on the team’s strength. The superiority of the team in T20 format is highlighted in the last series starting from the maiden match with Bangladesh to the final match against the same. The strong batting front as well as destructive bowling of the squad can be summed up in each match. The team continues to dominate cricket in the continent.
In the first match with Bangladesh, India won by 45 runs. The first fifty of the tournament was hit by Rohit Sharma with his 55 balls 83 runs. India’s score was 166, to which Bangladesh could not even reach closer. It was the tactful bowling of that culminated the match to the victory of the team. 166, anyways, was not an easy chase. Pace bowler Ashish Nehra bagged three wickets.
The next match with Pakistan was in fact, not interesting enough. India-Pakistan matches have been tough and fans enjoy the blood thirst thrill in the games. However, the Asia Cup T20 match did not witness a strong opposition from Pakistan’s squad. In the first inning, Pakistan’s batting line trembled against Indian bowlers. The team could amass just 83 runs in the match. Hardik Pandya took three wickets for India. However, the next inning also witnessed a feeble Indian batting line as the top order fell within the first five overs. It was Virat Kohli and his unfortunate 49 that hauled the chase to the winning streak. India won the match by 5 wickets.
On first of March, India faced Sri Lanka. It was a fierce fight between the teams. Sri Lanka posed 138 runs in the first inning challenging Indian bowlers. In the chase, Virat Kohli notched his half-century which he left unattained in the previous match. The batsmen remain unbeaten throughout the inning scoring 56 off 47 balls. There was a substantial addition from Yuvraj Singh as well, who smashed one of his career best 18 ball 35. Finally, Indian batsmen notched the victory by 5 wickets.
The next match with UAE was low scoring. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Yuvraj Singh together collected only 82 runs from the bowlers from the Middle East. In the chase, India faced an uncertain inning even though the opposition’s batsmen could not withstand their bowlers. The team could have lost the match following their meagre score. UAE hauled the chase to 81 runs with 9 wickets until the last delivery was played. The wickets were distributed evenly among Indian bowlers.
Then came the Final venue against Bangladesh. Bangladesh first posed the decent score of 120. It probably foresaw the victory, but Rohit Sharma’s early wicket brought some disappointments. It was Shikhar Dhawan, who shined in the inning, as if, he preserved the might for the final match. The batsmen scored 60 runs off 44 balls. The match witnessed an electrifying strike of Virat Kohli and especially MS Dhoni, both remaining unbeaten. MS Dhoni had a strike rate of 333.33 hitting 20 out of 6 balls. The team thus clinched Asia Cup 2016.
Till date, India won 6 Asia Cup, Sri Lanka, 5 and Pakistan 2. India is now on top of the list winning the cup for maximum times. India’s grip in the shorter format game is strong presently. It would be interesting to know how the Asian chief would perform in World T20, running to be the global boss.
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