It was exactly a year ago on this day that India’s Dinesh Karthik played one of the most memorable knocks of life to help India lift the Nidahas Trophy in Colombo.
India were staring down the barrel while chasing 167 for victory against Bangladesh in the final and at one stage were tottering at 133 for 5 in the 18th over.
The Indian team, under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, needed 34 runs from the last two overs and in walked Karthik after the fall of Manish Pandey’s wicket.
India were struggling to get the big hits as Vijay Shankar, who was sent ahead of Karthik, was struggling to put bat to ball.
But Karthik blew away Bangladesh in just the 8 deliveries that he faced, smashing 22 runs in the 19th over bowled by Rubel Hossain and then smashed a six off the last ball to lead India to victory in the T20 tri-series final against Bangladesh with 4 wickets in hand.
It is hard to describe Karthik’s knock of 29 not out from 8 balls because India were staring at their first defeat at the hands of Bangladesh in T20 cricket but the Tamil Nadu batsman had completely different ideas.
Just the way he batted, with such clarity of thought, is commendable to say the least.
The match went right down to the wire as Shankar departed in the penultimate ball in the final over with India still 5 runs away from the target.
Soumya Sarkar was trusted with the ball by Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza and he did a decent job with the first three balls conceding just 3 runs. The next three balls however, swung the match in India’s favour with Shankar scoring a boundary off the fourth before getting out in the fifth delivery.
Crucially though for India, the batsmen managed to cross sides and Karthik was on strike for the final ball. It was then that Sarkar made the mistake of bowling a full delivery outside off stump which Karthik timed perfectly and smashed it over covers for a flat six to win the game for India and trigger massive celebrations.
“Really happy to come out of this performance. Really happy for the team. We’ve played really well in this tournament and to not win the final would have been unfortunate. It was not that easy to bat there.
“The way Musftazur bowled… So I just had to go out there and hit the ball hard,” Man of the Match Karthik said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Karthik also revealed what changes he has made to his batting which has helped him to get the big hits with more consistency.
“I have been practicing keeping a good base and hitting throguh the line and luckily it came out well,” Karthik said.