Cricket

Karthik's last-ball six gifts India T20 tri-series title

Monday, March 19, 2018

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AFP) — Wicketkeeper/batsman Dinesh Karthik hit a last-ball six in his blazing cameo to help India edge out Bangladesh by four wickets and clinch the Twenty20 tri-series title in Colombo yesterday.

Karthik hit 29 off just eight balls to get India past their 167-run target, in a tense chase of a dramatic final at R Premadasa Stadium.

Needing 12 to win off the last over, India lost Vijay Shankar on the penultimate ball but Karthik held his nerve to hit Soumya Sarkar for six, triggering wild celebrations in the dressing room.

“Young bunch of lads — lot of learning; we always knew they had lot of talent, it was just about coming here and executing,” skipper Rohit Sharma said of his team that was missing top stars like Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Sharma gave the team a blazing start during his 42-ball 56, but his wicket gave Bangladesh hope of turning it around.

Number five batsman Manish Pandey also made a crucial 28 but returned to the pavilion with India requiring 34 in the last 12 balls.

Fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman gave away just one run in the 18th over and took the wicket of Pandey to give Bangladesh the edge.

Karthik, who was named man of the match, then stepped up to clobber paceman Rubel Hossain for two sixes and two fours, as India took away 22 runs in the 19th over to make the equation easy.

Earlier put into bat, Bangladesh rode on Sabbir Rahman's 50-ball 77 to post 166-8 against a disciplined Indian bowling.

“Anybody could've won the game but credit to India, they held their nerves, especially Dinesh Karthik for the way he played,” Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan said in praise of his opponents.

India, who just lost their opener against hosts Sri Lanka in the tri-series, kept their T20 record clean against the Tigers in eight meetings.

Sri Lanka bowed out of the tournament, which commemorated 70 years of independence for the island nation, after losing to Bangladesh in a virtual semi-final on Friday.

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