Colombo: Dinesh Karthik kept his calm under pressure as he produced a scintillating knock to help India pull off an incredible chase beating Bangladesh by four wickets to clinch the Nidahas title at the jam-packed R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday. Needing 5 runs off the last ball in the title decider,
Karthik displayed nerves of steel and launched Soumya Sarkar towards extra cover for a six to seal India's win in a nerve-wrecking summit clash. The right-hander smashed three sixes and two boundaries in his 29-run knock that came off 8 balls.
Karthik's heroics would count as one of India's famous last ball sixes -- something that a Pakistani legend did against India 32 years back in Sharjah.
"Really happy to come out of this performance. We have played really well in this tournament and to not win the final would have been unfortunate. It was not that easy to bat there. So I just had to go out there and hit the ball hard. I have been practising keeping a good base and hitting through the line and luckily it came out well," an elated Karthik said.
"The Indian team is a tough place to get an opportunity, but once you get it, you have to take it. And credit to the backroom staff, they have always supported me and I'm really happy," he said.
After being put in to bat, Bangladesh scored a competitive 166 for eight, riding on Sabbir Rahman's 50-ball 77.
Chasing 167, captain Rohit Sharma (56) once again led from the front with his classy knock but failed to finish off the proceedings. Middle-order batsman Manish Pandey (28) played sensible innings but was dismissed when needed the most. Then came Karthik who took India to victory.
India started off on a steady note as openers Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan (10) scored 32 runs in three overs but then Dhawan was dismissed by Shakib Al Hasan.
Suresh Raina (0), who also played a crucial role along with Rohit in the last match could not disturb his score this time as the Uttar Pradesh batsman was dismissed in the very next over by Rubel Hossain. But incoming batsman Lokesh Rahul (24) and Rohit forged a crucial 51-run partnership before Rahul was sent packing by Hossain in the 10th over.
Just when things seemed good in the middle, Rohit departed with Nazmul Islam picking up the crucial wicket in the 14th over. His 42-balls innings was laced with four boundaries and three sixes.
Needing 69 runs in 40 balls, it was all on new two new batsmen Pandey and Vijay Shankar (17). Pandey displayed some superb shots while Shankar also supported handsomely at the other end.
But with 37 needed in last three overs, Shankar played four dot balls which mounted the pressure and as a result, Pandey, while trying for a big one, was caught by Sabbir Rahman off Mustafizur Rahman. Pandey played 27 balls and slammed three boundaries.