Monday, April 2, 2012

The ACC Asia Cup is a men's One Day International cricket tournament. It was established in 1983 when the Asian Cricket Council was founded as a measure to promote goodwill between Asian countries. The first tournament was held in 1984 right here in the emirate of Sharjah.

The eleventh edition of ACC Asia Cup was held at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Bangladesh from March 11th  to  March 22nd , 2012. The first match which took place on 11th March was between Pakistan and Bangladesh, where Pakistan was victorious by 21 runs.

The second match was held on 13th March, in which India and Sri Lanka came face to face on the field. India set a target of 305, which Sri Lanka was unable to achieve. Thus, India had won by 50 runs.

On 15th March, the third match took place between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, where Pakistan won by six wickets, with 10.1 overs remaining. This was an immediate entry for Pakistan into the finals of the tournament.

An interesting match took place on 16th March, where India and Bangladesh battled to compete against each other. Bangladesh stunned cricket fanatics all around the world after an outstanding performance. This feat helped Bangladesh win the match by 5 wickets, with four balls remaining, a first for Bangladesh. However, Sachin Tendulkar, known as the God of cricket in India, managed to complete his victorious hundredth in this game, which was a long- awaited achievement for him and his fans.

The fifth match was one of great anticipation and excitement. Pakistan vs. India, a match that everyone’s eyes were on, took place on 18th March.  India won this match by six wickets, with 2.1 overs remaining. Virat Kohli was announced the player with most runs in the series (357) after his unforgettable batting against Pakistan. He scored 183 runs, which is his highest ODI score. Pakistan, on the other hand, showcased some brilliant batting partnership between Hafeez & Jamshed (224).

The sixth match was between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on 20th March, where Bangladesh once again proved to be triumphant by five wickets, with 2.5 overs remaining. This automatically listed out India and Sri Lanka out of the Asia Cup with Bangladesh entering the finals.

Pakistan win the Asia Cup 2012

The last match, quite a thrilling one, was between Pakistan and Bangladesh, which took place on 22nd March. Throughout the match, both the teams gave tough competition to each other. While Pakistanis proved their team spirit by winning the match by just two runs, Bangladesh’s performance was yet again appreciated. Pakistan managed to win the match in a nail biting finish as Bangladesh fell short of target score of 236 by a mere 2 runs.

This was the second time Pakistan won the Asia Cup. Pakistan’s team spirit and Misbah-ul-Haq’s captaincy was esteemed.

Some of the records made during the ACC Asia Cup are:
·         Man of the series: Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)
·         Most runs: Virat Kohli (357, India)
·         Most wickets: Umar Gul (9, Pakistan)

Team records include:
·         Maximum Wins: 3 (Pakistan)
·         Minimum Wins: 0 (Sri Lanka)

The 11th ACC Asia Cup held at Bangladesh was considered to be a run fest. But, besides the match between India and Pakistan, there were no 300 plus total for teams. Although the highest wicket taker could grab only 9 wickets, all the matches saw wickets tumbling. While batsmen in good form like Kohli flourished, only 11 players could aggregate 100 plus runs in the entire tournament.

Finally, the best bowling inteam emerged as the surprise tournament champion. Shakib of Bangladesh with 237 runs (4th highest run scorer) and 6 wickets (joint 4th highest wicket taker), and two player of the match award was declared player of the series.

Pakistan, which was in need of a major win, proved victorious and helped restore faith of fans back into the team. The champions of the 11th ACC Asia Cup brought immense pride to their nation, after winning this title for the second time in history. 

By Maria Hussain