A look back at all the Asia Cup finals that happened in the 21st century￼
With seven titles to date, India has so far ruled the Asia Cup but failed to take charge of the Super Four stage as they lost consecutive matches to Sri Lanka and Pakistan crashing out of the tournament.
Sri Lanka and Pakistan will now play once again in the 2022 Asia Cup final to decide the winner of the latest edition of the continental tournament.
Well, the tournament is set to be another thriller towards the end. But before that, let us go into a flashback and showcase all the finals played so far in the 21st century. Here is the list:
2004 – Sri Lanka beat India by 25 runs
Sri Lanka used to be at their best during this time with legends like Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, and Chaminda Vaas being a part of it. The Indian team, captained by Sourav Ganguly, made it to the Super 4s alongside Sri Lanka.
The trio of India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan won two out of their three matches in the Super 4s stage. While Sri Lanka qualified for the finals easily with 3 bonus points, India qualified with 2 bonus points while Pakistan was out with no bonus points.
The final was a close clash too, as Sri Lanka could only manage to score 228 in their 50 overs, with Sachin Tendulkar picking up 2 wickets. This could have been an easy victory for India, but the spinners of Sri Lanka made full use of the pitch, picking up 6 Indian wickets. Tendulkar was the top-scorer for the side with 74 runs, and the lack of support from the other end cost India this Asia Cup.
2008 – Sri Lanka beat India by 100 runs
With Pakistan being the host of the tournament in this edition, the pressure was always on India from the beginning. Mastermind MS Dhoni was leading from the front this time, with no Sachin Tendulkar in the squad. This series has been in the minds of millions only because of the mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis, who dismantled the Indian attack.
Once again, victory in both the games took India to the Super 4s stage alongside Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. India beat Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to qualify for the finals, while Pakistan was out again even after 2 victories with the PCO rule (Points Carry Forward).
The mega-finale had to be a super-duper clash, but Sanath Jayasuriya made it a one-sided affair by scoring a phenomenal century in the finals. India was completely destroyed by the spell of Ajantha Mendis, who picked up 6 wickets in the final. With Sehwag scoring 60 in just 36 balls, India was all-out for just 173.
2010 – India beat Sri Lanka by 81 runs
This was the perfect revenge from the Indians after their crushing defeat a couple of years ago. This tournament was only played between the Test-playing nations, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Once again, Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar was not a part of the Indian squad.
Sri Lanka won all three matches to qualify for the finals, while India won two out of three to join them in the grand finale. Pakistan could only manage to win one game, and that too against Bangladesh.
Active player Dinesh Karthik was the hero of the encounter with 66 runs in the final. His innings helped India put up a decent total of 268 on the board. On the other hand, the Sri Lankans lost all their wickets for just 187 runs, giving India their 5th Asia Cup title.
2012 Asia Cup – Pakistan beat Bangladesh by 2 runs
Pakistan might have won the title this time, but this Asia Cup will be remembered for Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th international century. He created history against Bangladesh at Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium, Mirpur. After some phenomenal Asia Cup victories, this edition was a forgettable one for Sri Lanka as they couldn’t win a single game.
India won two matches out of three but failed to make it through to the finals. Pakistan and Bangladesh faced off against each other this time, with Pakistan scoring 236 in the finals. It was possible for Bangladesh to lift the trophy for the first time, but a tight last over made all the Bangladeshis break down in tears. They lost the battle by just 2 runs, and Pakistan won their second Asia Cup title.
2014 Asia Cup – Sri Lanka beat Pakistan by 5 wickets
Another forgettable edition for India as they couldn’t make it to the finals of this edition either. Afghanistan took part in their first-ever Asia Cup and registered a victory against Bangladesh in a group match. Because Pakistan and Sri Lanka won the most number of games, they qualified easily for the finals.
Pakistan scored a fighting total of 260 to make sure they got their third title, but Sri Lanka’s Lahiru Thirimanne put all their efforts in vain as he scored a remarkable century to give Sri Lanka their fifth title. Lasith Malinga won millions of hearts with his five-wicket haul against Pakistan in the final. He was awarded the Man of the Match trophy for his exceptional bowling.
2016 Asia Cup – India beat Bangladesh by 8 wickets
This was the first time the Asia Cup has happened in a T20 format. All four nations—India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh were playing, and the UAE made it to the main event after winning the qualifiers. In this edition, India and Pakistan played a low-scoring thriller, which India won. This was the same encounter where we witnessed a competition between Virat Kohli and Mohammad Amir.
India won all four of their encounters and sailed through to the finals. The second team was Bangladesh, who won 3 matches and set their challenge against India. The final was a rain-affected game with 15 overs per side. Bangladesh scored 120 in their 15 overs, but Shikhar Dhawan’s heroics gave India an easy victory with 7 balls to spare. Dhawan scored 60 off just 44 balls to secure victory for his nation.
2018 Asia Cup – India beat Bangladesh by 3 wickets
Once again, the two teams met in the final of the Asia Cup, with India winning the last-ball clash in Dubai. The Super 4s stage also made a comeback as six teams participated in the tournament this time. With Sri Lanka failing to win even a single match, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan made it to the Super 4s. Both India and Bangladesh won two games each to qualify for the finals, while Pakistan could only win one match.
The final was a close encounter, with India winning on the last ball. After scoring 222, Bangladesh managed to bowl well but couldn’t stop India from winning its sixth Asia Cup title. Kedar Jadhav was the man who scored on the last ball to make his team win. He was suffering from a hamstring injury, but still came out to bat and signed off in style. This was India’s seventh Asia Cup title.
No one scored even a half-century from the Indian line-up, but Litton Das of Bangladesh grabbed all the attention with his 121 in the finals. He was awarded the Man of the Match trophy.