Top 5 Most Thrilling Matches in the Asia Cup History

Top 5 Most Thrilling Matches in the Asia Cup History

The Asia Cup, an illustrious cricket tournament, first played in 1984, has undoubtedly been a stage for unforgettable clashes that have left cricket enthusiasts enthralled. Over the course of its 15 editions, this prestigious continental event has witnessed a wide array of thrilling encounters, encompassing high-scoring chases and nail-biting last-minute defenses. In this article, we embark on a journey to explore the heart-stopping drama and breathtaking moments that have defined the Asia Cup’s legacy. From Javed Miandad’s iconic last-ball six to secure an improbable victory, to Virat Kohli’s dazzling knock of 183, showcasing his unrivaled batting prowess, we delve into the annals of cricket history to unravel the top five most thrilling matches that have left an indelible mark on the Asia Cup history.

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1. Pakistan Vs. India – 1986 Austral-Asia Cup Final

Javed Miandad in the Asia Cup 1986

One of the most iconic matches in the history of Indo-Pak cricket unfolded during the 1986 Austral-Asia Cup Final held in Sharjah. Opting to field first after winning the toss, Pakistan found themselves chasing a target of 245 set by India. The Pakistani innings started on a shaky note, with their score reading 61/3, plagued by frequent wicket losses. Amidst the chaos, Javed Miandad stood firm on the other end. With Pakistan teetering at 241 runs with just one wicket remaining and five runs required off the final two balls, tension gripped the stadium. Tauseef Ahmed managed a single off the penultimate delivery, placing the well-set Miandad back on strike, who had scored an impressive 110 off 113 balls. The last ball of the match arrived with four runs needed, and Sharjah bore witness to an unforgettable climax. Javed Miandad unleashed Chetan Sharma for a mighty six over the deep square, sending the crowd into a frenzy and etching his name in cricket folklore. This remarkable finish encapsulated the sheer drama and excitement that makes cricket one of the most captivating sports in the world.

2. Pakistan Vs. India – 2012 Asia Cup

Virat Kohli 183: one of the best knocks in Asia Cup history

The 2012 Asia Cup clash between Pakistan and India witnessed a display of Virat Kohli’s sheer dominance, as he ruthlessly dismantled the Pakistani bowling attack at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. After winning the toss, Pakistan chose to bat first, setting an imposing target of 330 runs. India’s innings began on a disastrous note with the loss of their first wicket on just the second ball, bringing Kohli to the crease with a mammoth 330 runs required off 298 deliveries. Kohli joined forces with Sachin Tendulkar, and together they stitched a remarkable partnership of 133 runs. However, Tendulkar’s innings was cut short by the spin wizardry of Saeed Ajmal, as he departed after a well-crafted 52 off 48 deliveries. With Rohit Sharma providing valuable support, Kohli guided India to 305 runs by the 46th over before Rohit’s departure after a splendid knock of 68 off 83 balls. Kohli’s remarkable innings of 183 off 148 deliveries guided India home, featuring 22 fours and 1 six, earning him the well-deserved Man of the Match.

3. Pakistan Vs. Bangladesh – Asia Cup 2012 Final

Aizaz Cheema defends nine runs in the last over in 2012 Asia Cup

The 2012 Asia Cup Final between Pakistan and Bangladesh stands as a monumental occasion for the Bangladeshi team, who found themselves in their maiden final of a multi-nation tournament, with the added advantage of playing in front of their passionate home crowd in Mirpur. The match lived up to its billing, delivering an enthralling spectacle. Opting to bowl first after winning the toss, Bangladesh displayed an impressive bowling performance, restricting Pakistan to a total of 236 runs. Bangladesh’s opening pair provided a solid foundation, reaching a score of 68. With 170 for 4 on the board in the 43rd over, Bangladesh seemed poised for victory, backed by a well-set Shakib Al Hasan at the crease. However, the game took an instant turn in Pakistan’s favor when they managed to dismiss Shakib in the following over. With only 66 runs required off 45 balls and six wickets in hand, Bangladesh faced a sudden setback. The last over arrived with Bangladesh needing 9 runs and three wickets remaining, while the dangerous Mahmadullah held his ground. Captain Misbah Ul Haq entrusted Aizaz Cheema with the crucial task of defending the 9 runs. Bangladesh could only score two runs off the first three balls, leaving them to chase 7 runs off the final three deliveries. Facing the fourth ball, Mahmadullah managed to collect three runs, leaving Bangladesh with 4 runs needed from the last two balls. Cheema executed two exceptional yorkers, dismissing Razak on the penultimate delivery, and conceding just one run on the final ball. The victory slipped from the grasp of Bangladeshi fans.

4. Pakistan Vs. India – 2014 Asia Cup

Shahid Afridi Consecutive sixes against Ashwin

Pakistan had lost all five previous encounters against India in multi-nation tournaments, adding to the anticipation of the match. India, fresh off their triumph in the Champions Trophy and holding the title of ICC World Cup Champions, was led by the formidable Virat Kohli. India was invited to bat first and managed to post a competitive total of 245 runs, thanks to noteworthy contributions from Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, and Jadeja, all reaching half-centuries. Pakistan’s opening duo provided a strong start, amassing 71 runs in the initial 11 overs. However, as wickets began to fall steadily, the responsibility fell on Hafeez, who held his ground until his dismissal after scoring 75 runs off 117 deliveries. In a thrilling climax, Pakistan found themselves needing 10 runs to win off the final over with just two wickets in hand. Shahid Afridi, who was well-set on 22 runs off 16 balls, stood as their last hope against Ashwin, who was entrusted with the last over. Afridi rose to the occasion, smashing two colossal sixes, one over long-off and the other over Ashwin’s head. In the midst of the breathtaking moment, commentator Ramiz Raja exclaimed, “He goes again, he goes up in the air and it’s a six! Shahid Afridi, you beauty! What a win! Pakistan has smashed it, Shahid Afridi has done it.” The match concluded in a blaze of glory, etching itself as one of the most memorable games in Asia Cup History.

5. Pakistan Vs. India – 2022 Asia Cup

Hardik Pandya against Mohammad Nawaz

Pakistan and India locked horns for the first time since Pakistan’s commanding victory over India in the 2021 T20 World Cup, setting the stage for an intense clash filled with heightened emotions. The determination to avenge their previous defeat was palpable on the faces of the Indian players as the national anthem, “Jana Gana Man…”, reverberated through the stadium. Pakistan was entrusted with batting first but could only muster a total of 147 runs. India, however, encountered a shaky start, losing their first wicket with just 1 run on the scoreboard. It was the partnership between Kohli and Rohit that steadied the ship, propelling India to 53 runs before both batsmen were dismissed. Nevertheless, Hardik Pandya’s scintillating performance brought India back into contention. As the final over began, India required 7 runs for victory with Mohammad Nawaz bowling. The first three balls yielded only 1 run, leaving India with 6 runs needed from the last three deliveries. Exhibiting remarkable composure, Hardik Pandya stylishly sealed the game with a six over mid-wicket, capping off his brilliant knock of 33 runs off 17 deliveries.

Also Read: Emotional Pat Cummins Celebrates Victory with His Father

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