An emotionally-charged Bangladesh team, the surprise package of the Nidahas Trophy 2018, had one hand on the trophy when Dinesh Karthik walked in.
With India needing 34 runs from the last two overs, the visitors were struggling. But DK, in the eight balls he faced, brought about a stunning turnaround.
Also, by dispatching the last ball over the ropes, he became the first batsman to win a T20I final with a six.
Only a handful have won a T20I match by hitting a six off the last ball:
C Kapugedara v India Gros Islet, 2010
E Morgan v India, Wankhede, 2012
Z Babar v West Indies, Kingstown, 2013
V Sibanda v Netherlands, Sylhet, 2014
Dinesh Karthik v Bangladesh, R Premadasa Stadium, 2018*
India thus beat Bangladesh by four wickets to run away with the Nidahas Trophy.
"Really happy to come out of this performance, really happy for the team - young bunch of boys. We have played some good cricket throughout this tournament and had we not won this final, wouldn't have done justice to the way we have played this tournament. I realised that it wasn't that easy to bat, the way Mustafizur bowled that over, all I needed to do was to go for boundaries as soon as I went in. Touchwood some of the balls landed in a good place for me to hit a shot. I have been practising this - where I hold a good base and swing through the line well and it came off well today. I have been saying this over and over again; the Indian team right now is a tough place to get an opportunity but once you get it - you got to make best use of the opportunity. Credit to the backroom staff - they have always given me the confidence and I'm happy where I'm," said India's hero of the night.
Take a look at some of the reactions:
SIX, FOUR, SIX, dot, TWO, FOUR, ONE, SIX— Wah Cricket (@ABPCricketHindi) March 18, 2018
28 runs off 8 balls - Dinesh Karthik became the first batsman in T20Is to hit a six off the last ball when 5 or more runs were required. Take a bow DK pic.twitter.com/G6VB3aJzet
Always felt he was supremely gifted and had the potential to play knocks like what we saw tonight. https://t.co/MlnbfX7eQQ— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) March 18, 2018
funny how things turn out sometimes. in india's first ever T20I in 2006, @DineshKarthik was player of the match in a tight run chase. here he is again, almost 12 years on, player of the match in a tight run chase in india's latest T20I #INDvBAN— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) March 18, 2018
We saw a great T20 innings that lasted 8 balls! And what stood out were the quality of shots played under pressure by DK. Incredible!— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 18, 2018
Earlier, even the commentators were a little surprised by India's move to push Karthik down the order.
Skipper Rohit Sharma, however, explained the reason behind that move during the post-match presentation.
"The way we finished off was perfect and very happy to see Dinesh doing what he did. He didn't get much of game time, the way he came out and showed character was very very crucial for us. That was the reason I held Dinesh back, I have seen him play over the years and his experience matters a lot. When it doesn't come off, the captain never looks good. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. We always had faith when we went into the dressing room after the first innings. The target I wouldn't say was a very high score or a very low score, it was a par score and with the kind of batting we have, we always had confidence to go and chase the target," said Rohit.
I actually liked the move to push Karthik down the order. He is best when he does not get time to think too much & has to just belt every ball.— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 18, 2018
How's that for prophetic words? Dinesh Karthik had tweeted this early on Sunday morning. Finishing it off in style doesn't come much better than this. https://t.co/EPE92F18uN— Anand Vasu (@anandvasu) March 18, 2018
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