India beat China to win women’s hockey Asia Cup

India, ranked fourth in Asia, beat China 5-4 in shootout in the final to win the women’s hockey Asia Cup.

India won their biggest title in recent years as they completed a historic win over China in the women’s Hockey Asia Cup on Sunday. This was India’s second Asia Cup title win after they had beaten Japan in 2004 in New Delhi. Playing the final for the first time since 2009, India managed to hold off China 5-4 in shootout in the final in Kakamighara, Japan. India had defeated defending champions Japan 4-2 in the semi-final to make the final. The team had also beaten China 4-1 in the group stages.

Navjot Kaur gave India the lead in the second quarter through a field goal in the 25th minute before Tiantain Luo equalisied in the 47th minute. The match went to shootouts where India scored every goal while China missed one. The score was 1-1 after regular time and 5-4 in the shootout. Exactly an year ago, India had beaten China in the final of Asia Champions Trophy.

India won all their matches in the group stages as they beat Malaysia, Singapore and China. They remained unbeaten in the tournament.

The women’s team got a new coach six months back and Harendra Singh has breathed new life to the team. India had already qualified for the 2018 Women’s World Cup at the start of the tournament and this win will be a great addition to India’s CV.

India beat Bangladesh by 8 wickets in a 15-over match to lift Asia Cup

India 122 for 2 (Dhawan 60, Kohli 41*) beat Bangladesh 120 for 5 (Mahmudullah 33*, Bumrah 1-13) by six wickets

India finish their unbeaten run in the Asia Cup with a strong performance in the final. Bangladesh fought hard in phases but a victory with six balls to spare and eight wickets in hand is a pretty emphatic one in the end. Bumrah and Ashwin were the stars for India with the ball, before Dhawan and Kohli sealed the chase with that partnership. Dhoni had played only nine balls in the tournament before today but he hit it like a dream tonight.

India’s Virat Kohli, right, and Shikhar Dhawan run between the wickets during the Asia Cup Twenty20 international cricket final match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, March 6, 2016. (AP Photo/ A.M. Ahad)
India’s Virat Kohli, right, and Shikhar Dhawan run between the wickets during the Asia Cup Twenty20 international cricket final match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, March 6, 2016. (AP Photo/ A.M. Ahad)

 

A thunderstorm and a Mahmudullah squall came in India’s way, but a calm chase from Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli helped India make light work of their chase of 121 as they won their sixth Asia Cup title.

Dhawan and Kohli added 94 for the second wicket before MS Dhoni, who had faced all of nine balls leading into the final, quite fittingly, polished off the chase with an unbeaten six-ball 20 as India won with seven balls to spare. Kohli’s credentials in run chases received another fillip as finished unbeaten on 41.

More to follow..

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Sabbir’s one-man act too much for Sri Lanka

Bangladesh 147 for 7 (Sabbir 80, Chameera 3-30) beat Sri Lanka 124 for 8 (Chandimal 37, Al-Amin 3-34) by 23 runs

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After they ran into early trouble, Sabbir Rahman scored more than half of Bangladesh’s runs. The bowlers followed it up by squeezing Sri Lanka in the 148-run chase, eventually picking up their second win in the Asia Cup by 23 runs.

A packed crowd at the Shere Bangla National Stadium was kept at the edge of its seat for three and a half hours, first by Man of the Match Sabbir’s superb and clean hitting that gave him ten fours and three sixes. The home side’s tight bowling and rapid fielding across the outfield stood out too.

The loss would, however, ring loud alarm bells for Sri Lanka, especially after how they missed out on taking advantage of the home side slipping to 26 for 3, and later being unable to hit any boundaries for four and seven-over clumps. This was the first time Sri Lanka were beaten by Bangladesh in a T20.

Full report to follow…

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Asia Cup: Pacers, Kohli guide India to five-wicket win over Pakistan

India 85 for 5 (Kohli 49, Amir 3-18) beat Pakistan 83 (Pandya 3-8, Jadeja 2-11) by five wickets

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There is a bar for international batsmen and with Pakistan it is never quite certain which way they will push it. There is never a shortage of spectacle when they play and that box was at least ticked in Mirpur. Pakistan crumbled to 83 all out in 17.3 overs – their lowest ever score in T20Is after batting first. There is a bar for international bowlers too and Pakistan have been vaulting over it for years. Mohammad Amir, playing his sixth international limited-overs match in nearly as many years, turned up like he hadn’t missed a beat. He took out Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane for ducks in the first over of the chase, and a low-scoring game that had threatened to be one-sided was given the thrill India-Pakistan cricket is known for. But Virat Kohli’s class and technique prevailed in the end and India held on for a five-wicket win.

Rohit, who had stood a class apart on a similarly challenging pitch on Wednesday, was beaten for pace and prodigious inswing before he even had his bearings set. The first ball, a yorker, may well have burned a hole through his boot and crashed into off stump. Amir could not have sounded his warning any clearer or louder but his leg-before appeal was turned down. So he pulled his length back but kept the inswing going. Rohit was rapped on the pads again and this time there was no doubt. Rahane, coming as a late replacement as Shikhar Dhawan rested a niggle, saw a wide down leg before he too could not handle the ball bending back into him at over 140 kph and was trapped in front. Suresh Raina popped a catch to mid-on in Amir’s next over and India were 8 for 3.

Kohli persevered amid the carnage, deflecting the memory of an inswinger that nearly had him lbw and an edge that flew over the slip cordon. Both were off Amir’s bowling, but his full quota was all done by the seventh over. After that sensational spell of 4-0-18-3, India gained the breathing room they needed and Kohli’s 49 off 51 balls secured a fifth T20I win in six matches in the lead up to the World T20.

As taxing as India’s batsmen had it, it was hard not to think about their bowlers. MS Dhoni had won the toss and handed them first use of a green-tinged pitch. Ashish Nehra began in vintage fashion, moving the ball across the right-hander and getting it to bounce more than expected. A surprised Mohammad Hafeez nicked the fourth ball of the match through to the wicketkeeper. At the other end, Jasprit Bumrah’s natural bustle into the crease had the same effect but he was bringing the ball into the right-handers. Khurram Manzoor’s pads weathered a lot of impact as he came in at No. 3 and played out a maiden over on his T20I debut. Sharjeel Khan was undone by Bumrah’s offcutter in the fourth over and India’s discipline was bearing the sweetest fruit.

Then it created a spectacular chaos. Shoaib Malik poked a shortish delivery into the covers and took a few steps down, looking for a single. A non-existent one because Kohli had swooped down on the ball with great agility. It made Malik rethink his decision and then change it but it was too late. Manzoor was barely in the frame when the direct hit found the non-striker’s end. To complete the ineptness of that little passage of play from Pakistan, Manzoor had lost his bat in the frantic hurry to turn around and save himself. Seven balls later, Malik chased one outside off from Hardik Pandya and nicked it behind. It was the first of three wickets for a man known more as a batting allrounder.

Yuvraj Singh surprisingly came in to bowl the first over of spin, ahead of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. His first ball was angled in at Umar Akmal, who played for turn and was trapped lbw and Pakistan were 35 for 5 in the eighth over.

As if to cap a spell of self-destructive batting, there was another silly run-out. Shahid Afridi, whose experience spans nearly 20 years in international cricket, went for an ambitious second run to deep square leg taking on India’s quickest man across the turf and the strongest arm, of Ravindra Jadeja. The pick up was one-handed and the throw was barely a parabola. Like a sniper’s shot, it travelled along a near straight line and ended up a few centimeters away from the stumps and Dhoni made up the distance. Pakistan finished the eighth over at 42 for 6, the lower order just about doubled that. But it just wasn’t enough.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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