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India beats Bangladesh by 8 wickets to win Asia Cup final

13Opener Shikhar Dhawan hit a career-best 60 as India won the Asia Cup for the sixth time after beating Bangladesh by eight wickets on Sunday.

The home side was put into bat and posted 120-5 in a rain-hit game that was reduced from 20 to 15 overs after a two-hour delay.

World T20 host India won with seven balls to spare, reaching 122-2 as skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed a towering mid-wicket six.

Dhawan and Virat Kohli combined for a 94-run partnership for the second wicket after India was reduced to 5-1.

Kohli was unbeaten on 41, while Dhoni was on 20.

“The top order played sensibly and made it easy for us,” Dhoni said. “It’s looking very good now, we are on track for the World T20. It’s the beauty of the side that everyone is taking responsibility to finishing the game.”

Bangladesh’s fast bowlers Taskin Ahmed (1-14) and Al-Amin Hossain (1-30) shared the wickets.

To the delight of the home crowd, Al-Amin broke through in just the second over when he swung one nicely to get the edge of Rohit Sharma (1) who was caught by Soumya Sarkar at first slip.

Dhawan and Kohli spent some uncomfortable moments at the crease against the pace of Al-Amin and Taskin. They took their frustration out on Abu Haider, who was playing his first match. Haider conceded 14 runs in his first over and the quick didn’t bowl further in the match.

Both Dhawan and Kohli also found Shakib Al Hasan’s left-arm spin to their liking as they kept India in the hunt.

Taskin returned to his second spell to remove Dhawan with a low full toss after the batsman had hit nine fours and one six in his 44-ball 60.

Dhoni hurried the victory for India with 20 off six balls — including one four and two sixes.

Kohli once again played with composure, hitting a risk-free unbeaten 41 off 28 with five fours.

The start of the match was delayed by two hours following torrential rain, after which Bangladesh was put into bat first.

Mahmudullah smashed an unbeaten 33 for Bangladesh and helped his side plunder 42 runs in the last three overs after being in trouble at 78-5 in 12 overs.

The platform was built by in-form Sabbir Rahman, who hit 32 not out.

Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah curbed the aggression of Mahmudullah, ending with figures of 1-13.

“We are disappointed, no doubt. They played really well and we couldn’t keep the pressure,” Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza said. “We have exciting batsmen and bowlers, hopefully this team will carry on from here.”