DHAKA (Staff Report) – Host Bangladesh is all set to face off India in the Asia Cup final in Mirpur, Dhaka on Sunday (today).
The match will start at 07:00pm (local time) and 06:30pm (Pakistan time).
Top-ranked India crushed Bangladesh by 45 runs in the opening match of the tournament, but the hosts have since executed a turnaround, winning three matches on the trot to qualify for the final.
Bangladesh’s five-wicket win over Pakistan on Wednesday, watched by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from a packed gallery, sparked jubilation in the cricket-mad nation.
“Any good team, if they are the home team, they will always know the conditions very well. So to beat a home team is always difficult,” Indian captain MS Dhoni told reporters.
“Also Bangladesh, over the years has developed a lot. They have improved their strength,” said the skipper, predicting: “It will be a good final.”
Dhoni’s side, the pre-tournament favourites, defeated the UAE by nine wickets on Thursday to end the league phase with a 100 percent success rate.
India — who have won nine of their last 10 Twenty20 internationals — will start the final as favourites, but Dhoni said nothing could be taken for granted, especially in the shortest format of international cricket.
Hosts Bangladesh have qualified for the Asia Cup final only once in 2012, when they lost to Pakistan at home by just two runs.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Imrul Kayes, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Nasir Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Taskin Ahmed Abu Hider, Al-Amin Hossain, Arafat Sunny.
India: MS Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pawan Negi, Ashish Nehra.
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