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Shikhar Dhawan fifty sets up India's sixth Asia Cup title

Shikhar Dhawan fifty sets up India's sixth Asia Cup title
Shikhar Dhawan (left) and Virat Kohli (right) added 94 runs for the second wicket.
©REUTERS / Action Images

India 122-2 (Dhawan 60) beat
Bangladesh 120-5 (Mahmudullah 33no) by eight wickets
Final, Asia Cup, Mirpur,

A solid knock of 60 runs from Shikhar Dhawan and a fluent 28-ball 41 from Virat Kohli set up India's chase of 121 runs before MS Dhoni finished the rain-curtailed 15-over game in style to seal an eight-wicket win against Bangladesh in the final of the 2016 Asia Cup in Mirpur and secure their sixth title. 

Earlier in the day, the start of the game was delayed for more than two hours due to a thunderstorm and the match was reduced to 15 overs a side.

After being asked to bat first by India, Bangladesh got off to a good start as Soumya Sarkar (14) and Tamim Iqbal (13) posted a 27 run opening stand in four overs.

Sarkar was caught at mid-off in the end of the fourth over off the bowling of Ashish Nehra (1-33). A few minutes later in the fifth over, Jasprit Bumrah (1-13) trapped Iqbal in front of the stumps as Bangladesh finished with 35 for two in the powerplay phase.

A 34-run stand between Shakib Al Hasan (21) and Sabbir Rahman (32 not out) gave Bangladesh a platform to mount a finish.

Hasan struck three boundaries in his 16-ball knock before he holed out to fine leg off Ravichandran Ashwin (1-14) in the ninth over. At the halfway mark, Bangladesh had scored 68 for three.

The 12th over was a crucial for India as Mushfiqur Rahim (4) was run out while attempting a second run. In the next delivery, Mashrafe Mortaza (0) was caught at deep midwicket off Ravindra Jadeja (1-25).

Just when the chips were down, Mahmudullah (33 not out) came up with a brilliant 13-ball cameo wherein he struck two sixes and two fours and added 45 runs with Rahman to boost Bangladesh’s total to 120 for five in 20 overs.

India started the chase on the right foot by dismissing Rohit Sharma (1) in the second over, caught in the slips off Al-Amin Hossain (1-30).

The slow start was offset with four boundaries from Dhawan (60) and a couple from Virat Kohli (41 not out) pushed India’s total to 48 for one after the powerplay.

Dhawan and Kohli went on to play positively and stitched together a 94-run stand for the second wicket. Dhawan played really well as he took calculated risks to bring up a 35-ball fifty.

With four overs left in the game, India needed 39 more runs. Kohli and Dhawan struck three boundaries in the 12th over to bring the equation down to 24 from 18.

A few balls later, Dhawan was caught at backward point off Taskin Ahmed (1-14). 22 runs were needed from 14 balls when MS Dhoni (20 not out) walked in, but India needed just seven more balls as Dhoni smashed two sixes and a four in a seven-ball cameo.

Dhoni sealed the eight-wicket win with a six over midwicket as India won their sixth Asia Cup title.

This win also extended India’s away winning streak to eight games - their best run of results in the format. Dhawan was the man of the match while Rahman was picked as the man of the series.

© Cricket World 2016