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Rohit Sharma praises Bangladesh’s ‘fearless cricket’ after Nidahas Trophy final

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Colombo: India captain Rohit Sharma praised Bangladesh for their “fearless cricket” after the Twenty20 minnows came within a ball of a shock victory in the tri-series final in Colombo

Tenth-ranked Bangladesh pushed their illustrious neighbours all the way in Sunday’s final before wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik smashed a six off the last ball to secure a four-wicket win.

Karthik’s eight-ball 29 took India over the line after a tense 167-run chase that saw Bangladesh concede 35 runs off the final two overs at the R. Premadasa Stadium.

But Sharma, who gave his team a blazing start with a 42-ball 56, said Bangladesh were a “very good team” who have vastly improved over the past three years.

“(Bangladesh) play fearless cricket, it’s always good. Sometimes, it can bite you when things don’t go your way but that is the style of cricket they want to play,” Sharma told reporters after the final.

“They are certainly a very good team... in the last three years, we’ve seen how they’ve changed their style of cricket.

“A few of the guys who are experienced are nurturing the younger guys.”

Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, who registered two half-centuries in the series, senior batsman Mahmudullah and skipper Shakib Al Hasan played key roles as the Tigers beat hosts Sri Lanka twice to book the title clash with third-ranked India.

Bangladesh’s Rubel Hossain, who sent down the 19th over in the final that conceded 22 runs, and Soumya Sarkar, who was entrusted with the final six balls which went for 13, were the unfortunate bowlers on the receiving end of Karthik’s explosive innings.

But Sharma had comforting words for Soumya, an occasional medium-pace bowler, after his final ball disappeared for six as Karthik took India to 168 for 6.

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