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Tendulkar, Kohli, Mendis – Top 5 Most Memorable Asia Cup Moments In History

Sachin Tendulkar's 100th century
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The 15th edition of the Asia Cup gets underway on the 27th of August in the UAE as the top six teams from the continent battle it out in the biggest international tournament outside of the major ICC events. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the other major nations will be using the 2022 Asia Cup as part of their preparations for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia in October, but there is also plenty of continental pride at stake between some of cricket’s biggest rivals.

Team India have been the most successful team in Asia Cup history with seven titles, and there have been numerous iconic moments in the storied history of the competition, dating back to 1984.

Here are the five most memorable moments in the history of the Asia Cup.

5. Afghanistan surprise India in dramatic tied finish

Afghanistan announced their arrival on the global stage at the 2018 Asia Cup in the UAE when Asghar Afghan’s side surprised the Men in Blue in a nail-biting tied encounter in Dubai. After Mohammed Shahzad’s scintillating century took Afghanistan to 252 in the first innings, the spin trio of Rashid Khan, Mohammed Nabi, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman produced an incredible performance with the ball. The game ended in a tie as India were bowled out for 252 in 49.5 overs in one of the most exciting matches in Asia Cup history.

4. Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th 100

Sachin Tendulkar smashed the record books and created history in the 2012 edition of the Asia Cup as the little master became the first person to score a century of international centuries. Tendulkar brought up his 49th ODI ton against Bangladesh in a group stage encounter in Mirpur, the opener scoring 114 runs in 147 balls to take India to 289 for five with the bat. Although Bangladesh chased down the tightly fought contest with four balls to spare, Tendulkar’s achievement will go down in the record books as one of the greatest feats in the history of cricket.

3. Harbhajan Singh vs Shoaib Akthar in 2010

India’s clash with Pakistan in the 2010 Asia Cup was one of the most fiercely competitive encounters between the age-old rivals as the emotions spilt over onto the pitch in an epic finish in Dambulla. Chasing 268, India were well on course to victory with MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir in control. However, the Men in Blue slumped from 180 for 2 to 219 for 6, leaving them in peril. Thankfully for team India, Suresh Raina played a blinding knock of 34 from 27, while Harbhajan Singh smashed two sixes in the final two overs and engaged in a fiery battle with Shoaib Akthar to take India over the line by the narrowest of margins.

2. Virat Kohli smashes highest ODI score

2012 was the beginning of Virat Kohli’s dominance in international cricket as the face of the Indian team, and the number three showcased his talents in the 2012 Asia Cup against arch-rivals Pakistan. Kohli enhanced his reputation as one of the best chasers of all time in ODI cricket, helping India mow down Pakistan’s score of 329 with his highest ODI score. Kohli smashed 22 fours and one six in his knock of 183 from 148 deliveries against a world-class bowling attack that included Umar Gul, Shahid Afridi, and Saeed Ajmal.

1. Ajantha Mendis outfoxes India in the 2008 Asia Cup final

The most iconic moment in the history of the Asia Cup has to be the 2008 final between Sri Lanka and India, where Ajantha Mendis burst onto the scenes and rattled the Men in Blue. The mystery spinner completely bamboozled the Indian batting line-up in the run chase with his wide range of variations. Mendis finished with extraordinary figures of 6 for 13 from eight overs as he left top order batters such as Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, and Rohit Sharma clueless with his mystery spin. Chasing 274, the Indian batters failed miserably while trying to read Mendis and eventually slumped to 173 all-out to lose the final by a considerable margin of 100 runs.


[Featured Image Credit: Slog Cricket]