Asia Cup 2022: Top 5 Nail-Biting Encounters In Asia Cup History

Asia Cup is back with the sub-continent heavyweights taking on each other in the 15th edition, scheduled to start from this Saturday (27th August).

In all the 14th editions of the Asia Cup, there have been many nerve-racking encounters between these sub-continent giants which sent their fans into raptures. Ahead of the 2022 edition, let’s take a look at some of the top clashes which lit Asia Cup ablaze.

5. India vs Afghanistan (2018)

image-l7axdww0Afghanistan team celebrating after the tied match against India in 2018.

Afghanistan is one of the most improved teams in the last decade. In their second appearance in the Asia Cup, Afghanistan reached the Super Fours, knocking out Sri Lanka in the group stage.

Afghanistan batted first in the Super Fours game against India and Mohammad Shahzad scored a brilliant century. India were chasing 253 and the top order got India off to a great start. However, Afghanistan took control in the middle overs and brought themselves back in the game. With 1 needed off two balls at the end, Rashid Khan emerged as the hero, who managed to dismiss Jadeja and the match finished in a tie.  

4. Sri Lanka vs India 2004

image-l7axmiafTeam India in Asia Cup 2004

An Asia Cup classic between the two most successful teams in the tournament’s history.

Asia Cup returned to Sri Lanka and the hosts were hoping to make an impactful run in the tournament under the captaincy of Marvan Atapattu. 

After electing to bat first, India posted a competitive total of 272 for the hosts. In reply, Sanath Jayasuriya scored a brilliant century but kept losing partners at the other end. Jayasuriya kept Sri Lanka in the chase and departed for 130, taking his side as far as 19 runs away from a win.

With 11 needed in the final over, Zaheer Khan took India home and won the match for India by just 4 runs.  

3. India vs Pakistan 2010

"Not really, it wasn't cool today”, were the words from Indian captain MS Dhoni after the game.

This match is remembered by the fans due to a thrilling last over finish and the on-field feuds between Harbhajan Singh and Shoaib Akhtar.

It was an important game for Pakistan, following the defeat against Sri Lanka in their first fixture. India were six down while chasing the target of 268 and Harbhajan joined Suresh Raina during a tense situation, needing 49 runs off 29 balls. 

With three needed off two, Harbhajan finished the game with a six over mid wicket and celebrated wildly, looking towards Akhtar in the third man. Akhtar tried to give a send off and looked away.

2. India vs Pakistan 2014

image-l7axbtylShahid Afridi after winning the game for Pakistan against India in 2014 Asia Cup. PC: Twitter

It’s another India-Pakistan classic from the archives of the Asia Cup. The game is remembered for the late heroics with the bat from Shahid Afridi in a tense last over finish.

Chasing the total of 245, Mohammad Hafeez gave Pakistan a comfortable position after making 75 on a tricky wicket. However, India did look to make a comeback after limiting Pakistan to 203 for 6. 

But, Shahid Afridi didn’t allow India to make a comeback in the game and went on a rampage. With 10 needed in the final over, Afridi smashed Ashwin for two sixes and won the game for Pakistan with 2 balls remaining.

1. Bangladesh vs Pakistan 2012

image-l7axqjqgPakistan defeated Bangladesh by 2 runs in the Final 2012.

It was the final of the Asia Cup 2012 and Bangladesh were playing the final for the first time in their history. The Bangladeshi tigers stunned everyone by reaching the finals ahead of other major teams like India and Sri Lanka.

After putting Pakistan to bat first Bangladeshi bowlers did a fantastic job and restricted Pakistan to 236/9 in 50 overs. Tamim Iqbal (60) and Shakib Al Hasan (68) almost took Bangladesh to a comfortable finish but Pakistan snatched the match from the jaws of Bangladesh. 

Mushfiqur Rahim’s side fell short of two runs at the end and Pakistan won their second Asia Cup title after one of the best finals in the history of this competition. 

Also Read: Asia Cup 2022: Most successful captains in Asia Cup history