REUTERS: India won the Asia Cup with an eight-wicket triumph over hosts Bangladesh on Sunday as opener Shikhar Dhawan returned to form with a half-century in a 94-run stand with Virat Kohli in a rain-hit final.
The bad weather saw the Twenty20 match starting two hours late and being reduced to 15 overs a side after India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and put Bangladesh in to bat.
Bangladesh, who lost to India in the group stages, got off to a slow start and only a late flurry of runs from Mahmudullah took Bangladesh to a competitive total of 120-5.
India, the world’s top-ranked side in the shortest format of the game, lost opener Rohit Sharma early but calmly chased down the Bangaldesh total with seven balls to spare.
Indian players pose with the trophy after winning the Asia Cup Twenty20 international cricket final match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, March 6, 2016. India won the Asia Cup for the sixth time after beating host Bangladesh by eight wickets on Sunday - AP Photo
India came into the final having won all of their group matches and could not have hoped for a better preparation for this month’s World Twenty20 tournament on home soil having also won their previous two series against Australia and Sri Lanka.
Left-handed Dhawan (60), who had scored two, one and 16 not out in his last three outings in the tournament, and Kohli (41 not out) took the attack to the Bangladesh bowlers after Rohit’s dismissal in the second over.
Dhawan fell to a diving catch by Soumya Sarkar off paceman Taskin Ahmed, prompting Dhoni to walk out and underline his worth as a finisher for India by smashing two sixes and a boundary in his innings of 20 off six balls.
Paceman Jasprit Bumrah and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin were the pick of the Indian bowlers, giving up 13 and 14 runs respectively in their quota of three overs apiece while picking up a wicket each.
Bangladesh were 75-5 in the 12th over and looked to be headed for a mediocre total but Mahmudullah’s 33 not out from 13 balls ensured their bowlers had a fighting total to defend.
Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman (32 not out), judged to be the player of the tournament, added 45 for the sixth wicket in just over three overs.