Nidahas Trophy: Top 5 moments from the tournament

Nidahas Trophy 2018: India beat Bangladesh to clinch the prize
India beat Bangladesh to clinch the prize

What started off with a bang at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on March 6th ended in a blitz as India claimed the Nidahas Trophy 2018 courtesy a flurry of late barnstorming hits from Dinesh Karthik.

An incredible knock of 29 runs off only 8 balls interspersed between three sixes and two boundaries lifted the Men in Blue out of the lurch, and capped off an incredible innings to hand India the title.

But those weren't the only sights to behold. For right from the offing, we've been greeted with numerous moments to savour, both during the match and later; moments that are going to stay with us even if the Colombo sun has already set on the tournament.

Here are the top five:

#5 Mushfiqur Rahim leading the cobra dance

Bangladesh pump up the jam!
Bangladesh pump up the jam!

Sometimes, the ecstasy of a victory can really get you. You may jump, run around like headless chicken, aggressively pump your fists in the air, or yell your throats out. But in Mushfiqur Rahim's case, one may even take the celebrations to new heights and perform a hideous snake dance.

A pair of half-centuries from Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perrera had helped the hosts set up a huge target of 215. But Bangladesh weren't cowed by the challenge, and barring a few patchy spells in between, stormed to a 5 wicket win bolstered by a 72-not out from Rahim, who kicked a six in the final ball. And descended into euphoria.

The wicket-keeper stretched out his cupped palms and broke into a cobra dance, much to the amusement of the spectators. The moment would go on to be bandied about forever, while the Twitterati had a gala time spinning memes around it.

And for the record, the whole of the Bangladesh team got into the cobra groove when they defeated Sri Lanka again, six days later.

#4 Washington Sundar's quickfire 3 vanquishes Bangladeshi openers

Washington Sundar, man of the series!
Washington Sundar, Man of the Series!

The 18-year-old has to be one of the revelations of the Nidahas tournament, finishing as the joint highest wicket-taker with countryman Yuzvendra Chahal on 8 wickets, but maintaining a better, and the competition's best, economy of 5.7. Sundar truly announced his arrival to the T20 fore, but his performance against Bangladesh on matchday 5 stands out.

The Tamil Nadu all-rounder picked up three scalps on that day, those of the top order of Bangladesh, restricting them to only 35 runs in the powerplay - their lowest in the tournament.

Liton Das was stumped at 7, while Sundar sent Soumya Sarkar back for only a solitary run. Tamim Iqbal withstood his offbreaks for a while, but eventually went down at 27.

These dismissals helped India mount pressure on the Tigers, and despite Mushfiqur's unbeaten knock of 72 that kept them in the race, Sundar's impressive return of three wickets and 22 runs from four overs set the Men in Blue firmly on their way to the victory.

#3 Tempers flare as Hasan and Perera trade heated words

Thisara Perera and Nurul Hasan engage in a war of words
Thisara Perera and Nurul Hasan engage in a war of words

The Tigers did send shockwaves when they ousted the hosts Sri Lanka in the penultimate matchday, but it was all shrouded amid the off-field antics, starting with the heated exchanges between Nurul Hasan and Thisara Perera.

In a tense encounter between the sides that left Bangladesh needing 12 from the final over, Mustafizur was run-out in the second ball and skipper Shakib wasn't really happy about something. He called his batsmen back into the pavillion in a shocking scene of events, and that's when things threatened to boil over as Nurul Hasan, who only sprinted onto the field to distribute drinks, got involved in a spat with Lankan skipper Perera.

The verbal fight was ugly to witness, and other team members had to intervene to defuse the tensions. Bangladesh may have won the game eventually, but caused further controversy when their dressing room glass door was found smashed to smithereens forcing referee Chris Broad to intervene.

#2 Suresh Raina's lunging catch

Suresh Raina produced a breath-taking moment in the game with that diving catch
Suresh Raina produced a breath-taking moment in the game

The Uttar Pradesh left-hander was called into the national team set-up after almost a year out in the wilderness as India prepared for the series against South Africa in January. A string of encouraging outings saw him retain his place in the fold for the Nidahas Trophy where he enjoyed a fair to middling campaign with 103 runs from 5 games.

But Raina's moment of reckoning in this tournament must be that improbable catch which sent Danushka Gunathilaka back into the pavilion.

With only two overs bowled in the match, the 27-year-old knocked one into the covers that Raina leapt high to catch, helping pick up the first wicket at 25.

A stunning catch, it also propelled Raina to the list of the 10 players with the most catches in the T20 format with 30, one ahead of Rohit Sharma.

#1 Dinesh Karthik slamming one out of the park in the final ball to win the trophy

Dinesh Karthik seals it in an emphatic fashion
Dinesh Karthik seals it in emphatic fashion

Well, we started off by commending Dinesh Karthik's incredible knock of 29 runs from only 8 balls, but his last ball, match-winning six truly catapulted him to greatness.

A return of 22 runs until the penultimate over left India with another 12 to chase in the final one. Pressures mounted when Vijay Shankar was caught out on the fifth ball with India needing 5 from the last delivery.

Against all the odds, Karthik, once again on strike, then smashed Soumya Sarkar's overpitched delivery straight out of the park to clinch the Nidahas Trophy almost single-handedly and give it a fitting conclusion.

The fiery innings will surely be etched in the memories for long, and Karthik for once, can basque in the glory he earned for his side, with aplomb.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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