Dinesh Karthik hit a last-ball six as India beat Bangladesh by four wickets to claim the Nidahas T20 tri-series at Colombo on Sunday.
India were very much out of the contest when they needed 34 runs off the last two overs as most of the established batsmen were back in the dugout. However, Karthik had other ideas and smashed an 8-ball 29* to do what appeared impossible at one time.
First he took 22 runs off the Rubel Hossain over with shots of 6,4,6,0,2,4 to set it up nicely, and then hit Soumya Sarkar for a six over the covers off the last ball of the match - with India needing five runs to win - to help the team stay unbeaten against Bangladesh in eight T20s. (Read the whole account of Karthik's effort in the last two overs)
Rohit Sharma, who scored 56 off 42 balls to keep India in the hunt for the large part of the chase, surprised one and all with his decision of sending Vijay Shankar ahead of Karthik and the all-rounder appeared all at sea during his innings of 17 off 19 balls, putting India's chase in big jeopardy. But Karthik batted like a man possessed and made up for Shankar's embarrassing batting with a brilliant show of power-hitting.
Earlier in the day, after being put into bat by Rohit, Sabbir Rahman's 77 off 50 balls took Bangladesh to a respectable total.
Their start, however, wasn't good as quick departure of Liton Das (11), Tamim Iqbal (15) and Sarkar (1) inside five overs left them reeling at 33/3.
Washington Sundar accounted for Das as the right-handed batsman's mistimed sweep found Raina at square-leg. And then Yuzvendra Chahal took two wickets in his first over as both Iqbal and Sarkar chose to go aerial but couldn't get the desired results.
Rahman and Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh's top scorer in the tournament, then stabilised the innings a little with a 35-run stand but Chahal struck once again and sent back Rahim for 9, after which last-match hero Mahmudullah joined Rahman.
The Bangladeshi innings at last appeared to get going smoothly as both the batsmen scored comfortably and at a nice pace. But then Mahmudullah (21) got run-out after being a little late in responding to Rahman's call. Many would argue, saying it was a little aggressive calling on the part of Rahman.
Captain Shakib Al Hasan (7) was next to get run out and he had only himself to blame. Despite these unfortunate run-outs, Rahman kept his wits about him and during his innings hit seven fours and four sixes.
After Jaydev Unadkat got him and Rubel Hossain off back-to-back deliveries in the 19th over, Bangladesh appeared to be losing the plot but Mehidy Hasan took 18 runs off the last over bowled by Shardul Thakur to guide this team to 166/8.
Chahal and Unadkat returned figures of 3/18 and 2/33 respectively.