Colombo: Dinesh Karthik proved that he still has it in him to succeed at the highest level after his blitzkrieg innings of 29 runs of just eight balls, helped India overcome Bangladesh by four wickets in the final of the Nidahas trophy at the R Premadasa Stadium on Sunday.
A lot of eyebrows were raised when Kolkata Knight Riders shelled out 7.4 crores for the Tamil Nadu cricketer in the IPL auctions and later, appointed him captain for the tournament in April. But a lot of those doubts might be put to rest after Sunday when he, almost single-handedly won India a match, which looked to be slipping out from their grip after the 18th over.
Mustafizur Rahman, who had earlier bowled magical spells for his country came up with one again, as he conceded just one run and took a wicket in the 18th over of the match, leaving India to get 35 runs from the remaining 12 balls to win.
It was Karthik who rose to the occasion and played an innings, which would go down as one of the most memorable ones in recent times, given the contest of the match. Needing five runs to win off the final ball, Karthik lofted one over the cover for a flat six, which sent the Indian crowd in the audience into a frenzy.
Bangladesh, coming on the back of a stunning yet, sour win over Sri Lanka batted first in the final where they ended up with a total of 166/8. Sabbir Rahman, smacked 77 runs, hitting seven fours and four sixes in the 50-ball knock. Mahmudullah, who had won the match for his side in the last game was the second best scorer with 21 runs. Yuzvendra Chahal was India’s best bowler as he finished with three wickets, conceding 18 runs in his four overs.
In response, India got off to a good start, scoring 32 runs in 2.4 overs before they were dealt with a double blow with Shikhar Dhawan (10) and Suresh Raina (0) falling in the space of five balls.
But it was skipper Rohit Sharma, who stood strong at the other end as he scored a timely 56 from 42 before his dismissal in the 14th over brought Bangladesh back into the match.
India had their hopes pinned on Manish Pandey (28) and the young Vijay Shankar (17) and the duo added 35 runs before the former was dismissed by Mustafizur in an exceptional over, which turned the game completely in Bangladesh’s favour.
But little did one know that the match would witness one more turn as Karthik, with his unbelievable finishing sealed a victory for the Indian team. Rubel Hossain, before that game-changing over to Dinesh Karthik, had conceded just 13 runs off his three overs.
But in the 19th over, he ended up leaking 22 runs, all of which came from Karthik’s bat as India romped back right into the game. A moment of calmness and composure from the 32-year-old in the last ball of the innings took India over the line and most importantly, helped them win the Nidahas trophy in style.
India 168/6 (Rohit Sharma 56, Dinesh Karthik 29*; Rubel Hossain 2/35) beat Bangladesh 166/8 (Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah Riyad 21; Yuzvendra Chahal 3/18) by 4 wickets.