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Asia Cup 2023 is around the corner, the winning team will be seen as a prime Asian contender for the upcoming ODI World Cup. Asia Cup is a prestigious tournament for the fans of the sub-continent. Fans are eagerly waiting for the much-anticipated high-octane India vs Pakistan-Asia Cup match on September 02, 2023. Over the years, many matches in the Asia Cup involved a series of memorable encounters. In this blog, we will discuss the top 5 most memorable matches of the Asia Cup.
5 Memorable Matches in Asia Cup
Virat Kohli’s brilliant 183 against Pakistan: 2012 Asia Cup
It was a game that brought Virat Kohli to the eyes of all cricketing fans. He turned the game on its head with his phenomenal effort.
Pakistan’s openers Mohammed Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed smashed fantastic hundreds for the Pakistan side. For the first wicket partnership, they smashed 224 runs but later, lost their wickets back to back. Younis Khan then carried the attack and smashed a quickfire fifty to take Pakistan to a mammoth total of 329.
In response, Hafeez got Gautam Gambhir dismissed for a 2-ball duck. Then young Virat Kohli came in. His hunger and desire could be seen clearly from the very first delivery that he faced. Virat alongside Sachin Tendulkar took the attack to the opposition. Virat Kohli nailed Pakistan’s bowling attack by hitting as many as 22 fours in his knock which eventually helped India to win the match in that Asia Cup.
Also Read | Complete List of Asia Cup Winners
India vs Pakistan – Asia Cup 1984
The Indian team won the nail-biting 1983 World Cup final and just a year later, it was the inaugural edition of the Asia Cup where India showed its true potential indicating that the World Cup win wasn’t just a coincidence. It was the final of the inaugural Asia Cup, and both nations (India vs Pakistan) left no stones unturned in making it to the final.
India scored 188 runs and Pakistan knew India didn’t have the good bowling attack to get them all out. When other Indian bowlers were being smashed, India looked up to Roger Binny. Roger Binny didn’t disappointed the side and took the crucial wickets of Zaheer Abbas and Qasim Umar to halt the fast-scaling run rate. Ravi Shastri also joined the bowling attack and took the crucial wickets of Mohsin Khan and Mudassar Nazar. But it was the fielding that won the match rather than bowling.
Four Pakistani batsmen were run out by the efforts of good Indian fielders. The Pakistan team could only make 134 runs and thus the Indian team lifted the Rothmans Asia Cup in 1984.
Also read | Top 10 Best Swing Bowlers of All Time
Pakistan thrashed Bangladesh in the 2012 final by 2 runs
It was in 2012, when Bangladesh amazed everybody to reach the finals of the competition. Bangladeshi spinners Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, and Razzak’s fantastic bowling bewildered Pakistan to score mere 236 runs.
Apart from Sarfraz Ahmed and Hafeez, none of the Pakistani batsmen had the clue of which side the ball was turning and thus couldn’t withstand the Bangladesh’s bowling attack. In the run chase, Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal started brilliantly and later Shakib joined Tamim to strengthen the chase. But a major twist was brought by Umar Gul when he got rid of Tamim Iqbal.
With 23 runs required off 18 balls and 4 wickets in hand, the match was very much on Bangladesh’s side. But, unfortunately, they managed to get only 20 runs thus losing the final by 2 runs.
Asia Cup Final 1986 – IND vs PAK
One of the historic and most exciting matches in the history is the Asia Cup final in 1986. That six by Javed Miandad on the last ball is still remembered as glory. India started energetically and Sunil Gavaskar scored 92 alongside Dileep Vengsarkar’s 50. India scored a total of 246 runs.
India’s Chetan Sharma took 3 important wickets that broke the top order batting of Pakistan side. India was on the verge of victory and four runs were needed on the last ball with Miandad on strike. Indian fielders were all saving the boundary and doubles. Chetan Sharma against all odds decided to bowl a Yorker which was unlike him on that day, but it turned out to be a juicy low full toss of which Miandad hit a brilliant six and Pakistan eventually won the match.
It is believed, that over ended Chetan Sharma’s career as a cricketer. Although he played till the mid-nineties but lost his place in the permanent playing squad. On the other hand, Javed Miandad became a national hero for his country.
Despite Sachin’s 100th ton, Bangladesh wins the match, Asia Cup 2012
The marvelous feat of the Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar came at the wrong time. Tendulkar and the entire nation was waiting for his 100th ton for a long time and finally he secured it in the 2012 Asia Cup. Sachin scored a classy 114 runs. The rest of the batting line-up batted well as well to take India’s total to 289 runs.
The collective batting effort from Bangladesh batsmen saw India losing the game convincingly. It was an unfortunate moment for Indian fans as the underdogs left the Indians shell-shocked. However, Bangladesh lost the finals by just 2 runs against Pakistan.