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Asia Cup: History in numbers


Asia_Cup_numbers_stats_cricketThe 2018 Asia Cup has come to a grand finale in the United Arab Emirates. We witnessed some scintillating cricket from the five full members of the Asian Cricket Council - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh – along with Hong Kong, who won the 2018 Asia Cup Qualifier tournament.

This was the 13th edition of the Asia Cup, a tournament which first made its appearance back in 1984. The last one, in 2016, was played in the T20 format for the first time because the ICC World T20 was taking place that year. This time however, the tournament reverted to the 50-over format.

This is a good time to look back at some of the interesting numbers and statistics that have been significant to the Asia Cup history.

(Note: These do not include the 2016 edition of the Asia Cup, as it was in the T20 format).

First ever match:

The first ever match of the Asia Cup was played between Pakistan and Sri Lanka on April 6, 1984 at Sharjah. After batting first, Pakistan could only compile 187/9 and Sri Lanka chased down the target in 43.3 overs with 5 wickets remaining; Roy Dias top-scored with an unbeaten 57.

The first edition of the Asia Cup (known as the Rothmans Asia Cup) was a three-match round-robin tournament with only India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka participating. India went on to lift the maiden Asia Cup trophy.

Most runs by a batsman:

Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya tops the batting charts of the Asia Cup with 1,220 runs in 25 matches at an average of 53.04. He has also struck 6 hundreds in the tournament – 130 against Bangladesh in 2008 at Karachi was his highest.

Jayasuriya is followed by fellow Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara who has collected 1,075 runs in the Asia Cup in 24 matches with 4 hundreds and 8 fifties. India’s batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar occupies the third position with 971 runs in 23 games at an average of 51.1 and with 2 hundreds and 7 fifties.

Best bowling figures:

Sri Lankan off-spinner Ajantha Mendis’ 6/13 in the final of the 2008 Asia Cup against India at Karachi remain the best ever bowling figures in Asia Cup history. Chasing a target of 274 in the finals, the Indian batsmen were disintegrated by Mendis’ 8-over spell that also included a maiden.

The next best bowling spell in the Asia Cup is 5/19 by Pakistani pacer Aaqib Javed in the 1995 Asia Cup match against India at Sharjah.

Most wins as a captain:

India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sri Lanka’s Arjuna Ranatunga jointly hold the record for most ODI victories as a captain in Asia Cup history. Dhoni and Ranatunga led their respective teams in 14 and 13 Asia Cup games, winning 9 of them. Ranatunga won Sri Lanka the Asia Cup title in 1997 and Dhoni led India to an Asia Cup crown in 2010.

(MS Dhoni also won the 2016 Asia Cup as a captain, but that was in the T20 format)

Highest ever partnership:

In the 5th match of the 2012 Asia Cup between India and Pakistan at Dhaka, openers Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed put up a superb partnership of 224 runs after Pakistan opted to bat first. This remains the highest ever partnership for all wickets in Asia Cup history.

The next best partnership is of 223 runs for the 3rd wicket by Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik and Younis Khan against Hong Kong in the 2004 Asia Cup encounter at Colombo.

Most wickets by a bowler:

Sri Lanka’s legendary off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan has taken the most wickets in Asia Cup matches. In 24 Asia Cup games, Murali snared 30 wickets at an incredible economy rate of 3.75 with one five-wicket haul: 5/31 v Bangladesh at Karachi in the 2008 Asia Cup.

Murali is followed by Ajantha Mendis of Sri Lanka, who has 26 wickets in just 8 matches at a stunning average of 10.42 – the best for any bowler who has played more than 5 games at the Asia Cup.

Most successful wicketkeeper:

Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and India’s MS Dhoni are the most successful wicketkeepers of the Asia Cup, with 36 dismissals each. Sangakkara played 24 Asia Cup matches from 2004-2014 where he took 27 catches and effected 9 stumpings. Dhoni took 25 catches and effected 11 stumpings).

No other keeper makes it past even the 20-dismissal mark.

Highest team total:

In the 5th match of the Asia Cup clash between Pakistan and Bangladesh at Dambulla, Pakistan amassed 385-7 after batting first, courtesy a whirlwind 124 off 60 balls by captain Shahid Afridi. This is the highest ever team total in the Asia Cup history. Incidentally, this score was Pakistan’s highest ever team total in ODI cricket at the time.

India’s 374-4 against Hong Kong at Karachi in the 2008 edition of the tournament is the second highest team total of the Asia Cup.

Highest individual score:

Virat Kohli’s epic and career-best 183 against Pakistan in 2012 at Dhaka remains the highest ever score by a batsman in the Asia Cup. While chasing a mammoth target of 330, Kohli guided his team to victory with this spectacular knock.

No other batsman has even crossed the 150 mark in the Asia Cup, with Pakistan’s Younis Khan’s 144 against Hong Kong in 2004 being the next best score.

Most successful team:

Sri Lanka, with 34 wins in 50 games, is the most successful team in Asia Cup history. They have an excellent win percentage of 68%. They also hold the record for playing the most matches in the tournament.

They are followed by India, with 31 wins in 49 matches, and Pakistan, with 26 wins in 45 matches.


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