The autumn has already knocked the doors, but Asia is going to erupt. The Superpowers of the continent are all geared to have a go at each other. It is not about the trophy, medallions or prize money, but fighting for the nation’s pride, displaying true colours of what you are made of.
The tournament is open. Any team can surprise the other on its day. The major setbacks have happened in the past and are expected to happen in future, making the tournament thrilling and nerve-racking. Knowing the past is as important as predicting the future. It gives you insight about your stellar performance in the past, inspiring you to do better. History is the root and future is the fruit, if we don’t learn from the mistakes, history will repeat itself.
To refresh the old memories, Sportzcraazy has come up with top 5 thrilling matches in the Asia Cup history:-
#1.Austral Asia Cup final in 1986
Austral Asia Cup final is one of the historic and thrilling matches in the history of One Day cricket. The Javed Miandad last ball six is still imprinted in every cricket fan heart. India went on to a flying start with Sunil Gavaskar scoring 92 alongside Dileep Vengsarkar’s 50, taking the team total to 246. It was a hard nut to crack score during the eighties.
Chetan Sharma was on fire with the ball, he took 3 crucial wickets during the match breaking the backbone of Pakistan batting order. The victory for India was on the cards, 4 runs were needed off the last ball of the match and Miandad was on strike. The fielders were called close in to save the runs or boundary. Chetan Sharma against the Captain strategy tried to bowl a Yorker, which resulted in low full toss to Miandad and he hit for six.
It was the over, which ended Chetan Sharma career as a cricketer. Although, he played till mid-nineties, but never was a permanent member. On the other hand, Javed Miandad became a national hero for his country. Austral Asia Cup in 1986 is on top of the final top 5 thrilling matches in the Asia Cup history.
#2.India vs. Pakistan Match in Asia Cup 2010
Indo-Pak matches are the most awaited matches of the year. It assures entertainment, souring rivalry and neck to neck fight. There is no one-sided match, a nail-biting finish every time makes it the blockbuster of all time.
By 2010 India claimed the title of the best team in all formats, the crows expected India to throttle Pakistan’s ego and cross the bridge to Asia Cup finals. Pakistan team, on the other hand, started off the tournament as an underdog, but when it comes playing India, Pakistan looks a totally different team. They look like a 100% charged smartphone.
Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat. The openers from the ball one cleared their intentions. They went against the Indian pacers attack tearing them apart but kept losing wickets on regular intervals. Only Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal managed to score the fifties. The team couldn’t play the full 50 overs and was booked for 267 runs in 49.3 overs.
India too started off their innings in a grand style, both the batters hit the thunderbolt shots clearing the boundaries easily but lost few crucial wickets slowing the run rate. Suresh Raina looked promising and up the run rate in no time, thanks to his big-hitting ability, but got out at the crucial time. When it looked curtains for India, Harbhajan Singh rose to the occasion and hit two humongous sixes taking his team to victory lines.
The match is remembered for Harbhajan Singh and Shoaib Akhtar encounter. Shoaib Akhtar tried to mock Harbhajan, but he belted him for a six followed by a boundary. It is considered the prime period for Harbhajan Singh, the batsman. Later in the year, he scored 2 test centuries against New Zealand. India vs Pakistan Match in Asia Cup 2010 is on the second position of the final top 5 thrilling matches in the Asia Cup history.
#3.Pakistan vs. Bangladesh Asia Cup 2012 final
The year 2012 saw the dawn of Bangladesh. They were beating the big wigs consistently. It looked as if they took some secret vow to win the Asia Cup for their nation. They defeated India and Sri Lanka comprehensively in the group stages clearing all the pebbles from the road and reaching the finals. It was the first time Bangladesh reached the Asia Cup final.
On a slowish and turning wicket, the Bangladeshi spinners made life hell for the Pakistani batters. They could pick the spin and were bowled out to a meager total of 236 runs in 50 overs. Only Sarfaraj Ahmed and Mohammad Hafeez managed to score 40+ scores during the innings.
Bangladesh pounded the opportunity and smashed the down and out Pakistan team to all the corners of the ground. Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan gave Bangladesh an unbelievable start, easily crossing the 200+ mark. Just, when Bangladesh looked all set for first Asia Cup trophy, Umar Gul dismissed Tamim Iqbal.
23 runs were required off 18 balls, the Bangladesh team choked and managed to score only 20 runs in 18 balls, losing the match by 2 runs. Pakistan held their nerves, stealing victory from the Bangladesh jaws. It was a so close, yet so far for the Bangladesh team. Pakistan just escaped from the jail. It was one of the most thrilling matches in the Asia Cup history. Pakistan vs. Bangladesh Asia Cup 2012 final is of third on the list of top 5 thrilling matches in the Asia Cup history.
#4.Bangladesh vs. Sri Lanka Asia Cup 2012
Bangladesh was on a roll during the Asia Cup 2012, but beating Sri Lanka is a hard nut to crack under any conditions. By 2012, Bangladesh has never defeated Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup history. Bangladesh won the toss and chose to bowl after seeing the gloomy weather conditions, which proved to be the right decision. Sri Lanka couldn’t handle the swinging balls and lost the crucial wickets of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, although the middle order chipped in with gritty fifties taking the team total to a respectable score of 232 runs in 49.5 overs.
Rain tried to spoil the game resulting in 10 over the loss. After implementing the Duckworth Lewis Method, the score was revised to 212 runs in 40 overs. By the time Bangladesh came to bat, the pitch became flat assisting the batsmen. Tamim Iqbal again gave Bangladesh a solid start but didn’t get the support from the other end.
Once again the middle order proved its worth, the middle order chipped ( Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah) with gritty knocks of 30+ scores. They played well when it was the most needed. Bangladesh chased the target of 212 in just 37.1 overs. The win helped them in reaching the finals by showing the exit doors to India in terms of run rate. Bangladesh vs Srilanka Asia Cup 2012 final is of fourth on the list of top 5 thrilling matches in the Asia Cup history.
#5. India vs. Pakistan Rothmans Asia Cup 1984
The Indian team of the eighties was considered the best Indian team of all time. They won the nail-biting 1983 World Cup final, two years later they won the world championship in Australia proving their mettle on the global map.
It was the inaugural edition of the Asia Cup, Pakistan was the favourite team to win the tournament, but it was India, which showed true colours indicating that World Cup win wasn’t a fluke. It was the final of the inaugural Asia Cup, both the nations left no stones unturned in making to the final.
Indian batsmen couldn’t handle to Pakistani hurricane and cold muster only 188 runs on the scoreboard. Pakistan knew India didn’t have the bowling attack to get them all out. When other bowlers were being hammered, India looked up to Roger Binny and his cutters.
Roger Binny didn’t disappoint and took the crucial wickets of Zaheer Abbas and Qasim Umar putting a halt to flowing run rate. Ravi Shastri too joined the party taking vital wickets of Mohsin Khan and Mudassar Nazar, but it wasn’t the bowling, which won the match. Hard to believe, but it was the fielding, which won them the game. The Indian team got four batsmen run out, leaving the impossible task for the tale Enders.
Pakistan was all out for 134, and Indian lifted the Rothmans Asia Cup in 1984. It wasn’t a one-man show, a collective team effort and persistence won them the cup. By the end of the tournament, India had the highest points in the point tally. India vs. Pakistan Rothmans Asia Cup 1984 is of fifth on the list of top 5 thrilling matches in the Asia Cup history
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