Asia Cup 2018: Former cricketers, media praise Bangladesh for spirited performance after narrow defeat against India in final

Bangladesh lost the Asia Cup 2018 final after India successfully chased down the target 223-run target on the final ball of the match, but were praised by media for their performances

Agence France-Presse, September 29, 2018

Dhaka: Bangladesh's media on Saturday lauded the national cricket team's spirited showing in the Asia Cup final after they went down to favourites India in a last-ball thriller in Dubai.

Liton Das slammed his maiden one-day international century in Bangladesh's modest 222 but it was the bowlers who made India sweat in their nervy chase of the 50-over contest.

Mustafizur Rahman took two wickets as Bangladesh bowlers took the game till the final ball of the match. Twitter @ICC

A 45-run sixth wicket stand between Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and a gritty 23-run unbeaten knock by Kedar Jadhav, who was limping due a hamstring injury, finally gave India a three-wicket win.

India, led by Rohit Sharma, could not rest until a leg-bye off the final ball of the innings completed their chase for their seventh Asia Cup title.

A Daily Star headline read: "Tigers falling agonisingly short."

"Despite the batting implosion after their brightest start of the tournament, it was a bowling effort that Bangladesh can be proud of as they seemed out of the game on numerous occasions but clawed their way back each time," the country's biggest-selling English newspaper wrote.

Another English-language daily New Age headlined its report "Brave Bangladesh fall just short", with an accompanying picture of Mahmudullah lying on the pitch after he failed to accomplish a run out of Bhuvneshwar.

The newspaper hailed Bangladesh's batting hero and man-of-the match Das as "next big thing in Bangladesh" in a separate article, saying that with each stroke en route to his 121 off 117 balls, the 23-year-old batsman "showed his class".

Das set up the foundation for a competitive score but a mid-innings collapse saw Bangladesh slip from 120-0 to 151-5 before being dismissed in 48.3 overs.

Meanwhile India, who went into the tournament without regular skipper Virat Kohli, relished their title win that comes after a 1-4 Test loss in England. But former Indian cricketers praised Bangladesh for their fighting instincts that made the Asia Cup final an entertaining affair.

"Congratulations India on becoming #AsiaCup Champions," former Test batsman VVS Laxman wrote on Twitter.

Cricketer-turned-commentator Mohammad Kaif also hailed Bangladesh's special effort in a tough final. 

Bangladesh will face Zimbabwe for three one-day internationals and two Tests at home in October and November.

India host West Indies for three Twenty20 matches, five ODIs and two Tests starting 4 October.

Updated Date: Sep 29, 2018

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