Dinesh Karthik struck a last-ball six to hand Team India a stunning victory in the Nidahas Trophy final against Bangladesh back in March, last year. History repeated itself on Sunday, except India were on the losing side this time.
Chasing an uphill task of 213 to win, India could manage only 208 despite early fireworks from Vijay Shankar 43 (28), Rishabh Pant 28 (12), Hardik Pandya 21 (11).
A 63-run partnership between Dinesh Karthik (33*) and Krunal Pandya (26*) almost did the job for the visitors but it wasn’t enough in the end.
Needing 16 to win in the final over of the match, Karthik started with a double before playing out two dot balls – one of which saw Karthik deny Krunal a single – that eventually ended any slim hopes they might have had of taking away the series.
The incident was reminiscent of Dhoni refusing a double to Ravichandran Ashwin against Australia in the Commonwealth Bank Series back in 2012. Dhoni eventually won the match for India with 2 balls to spare.
Baffled by Karthik’s decision, former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who was seated in the commentary box, slammed Karthik for sticking to his ground and denying a single to Krunal while stressing on the fact that the batsman on the non-striker’s end wasn’t a tail-ender.
Sanjay Manjrekar shared similar thoughts on the controversial decision.
While Harsha Bhogle gave the benefit of doubt to the wicket-keeper batsman.
Karthik’s call was questioned by furious cricket fans on Twitter.
However, several came out to bat for Karthik.
With 11 to win on the last ball, Karthik slammed a six as India lost the thrilling encounter by 4 runs, losing the series 2-1 to Black Caps.