Colombo: Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik hit a last-ball six in his blazing cameo to help India edge out Bangladesh by four wickets and clinch the Twenty20 tri-series title in Colombo on Sunday.
Karthik hit 29 off just eight balls to get India past their 167-run target in a tense chase of a dramatic final at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
Needing 12 to win off the last over, India lost Vijay Shankar on the penultimate ball but Karthik held his nerve to hit Soumya Sarkar for six, triggering wild celebrations in the dressing room.
“Young bunch of lads — lot of learning, we always knew they had lot of talent; it was just about coming here and executing,” skipper Rohit Sharma said of his team that was missing top stars like Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“This tournament win will give them lot of confidence going forward whenever they play for India and wherever they play.”
Sharma gave the team a blazing start during his 42-ball 56 but his wicket gave Bangladesh hope of turning it around.
Number-five batsman Manish Pandey also made a crucial 28 but returned to the pavilion with India requiring 34 in the last 12 balls.
Fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman gave away just one run in the 18th over and took the wicket of Pandey to give Bangladesh the edge.
Karthik, who was named man of the match, then stepped up to clobber paceman Rubel Hossain for two sixes and two fours as India took away 22 runs in the 19th over to make the equation easy.
“The way he came out and showed character was very very crucial for us,” said Sharma, who dropped Karthik down the order to give his team more batting depth.
“That was the reason I held Dinesh back, I have seen him play over the years and his experience matters a lot.”
Earlier put into bat, Bangladesh rode on Sabbir Rahman’s 50-ball 77 to post 166-8 against a disciplined Indian bowling.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal claimed three wickets to rattle the Bangladesh batting early including the prized scalp of the in-form Mushfiqur Rahim for nine. He returned figures of 3-18.
Sabbir then went after the Indian pacemen Vijay Shankar and Shardul Thakur, who gave away 93 runs between them.
Left-arm quick Jaydev Unadkat struck late to get two wickets in an over as he finally got Sabbir, who hit seven fours and four sixes, bowled on a slower delivery.
Lanky off-spinner Washington Sundar also returned miserly figures of 1-20 and was named man of the series for leading the wicket-takers chart alongwith Chahal — they both got eight wickets each in five games.
“Anybody could’ve won the game but credit to India, they held their nerves, especially Dinesh Karthik for the way he played,” Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan said in praise of his opponents.
India, who just lost their opener against hosts Sri Lanka in the tri-series, kept their T20 record clean against the Tigers in eight meetings.
Sri Lanka bowed out of the tournament, which commemorated 70 years of independence for the island nation, after losing to Bangladesh in a virtual semi-final on Friday.