The first edition of the Asia Cup was held in 1984. A total of 15 editions have taken place with India winning most titles with 7, Sri Lanka 5, and Pakistan 2. Since the inaugural tournament, it was played in a 50-over format. India is the defending Champions of 50 over the format that they won during the 2018 edition.
The 2016 edition was played in T20I format due to T20 World Cup and 2022 also featured in T20I format due to World Cup in 2022 in Australia.
With the 2023 Asia Cup starting on 30th August in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, there have been some special innings that stood out and entertained people around the world with their batting abilities.
Here we look at the Top 5 Best Knocks of Asia Cup history.
- Virat Kohli – 183 in 2012
Virat Kohli played one of the best innings of Asia Cup history against arch-rivals Pakistan on 18th March 2012 at Sher-E Bangla Stadium, Mirpur. His knock of 183 is the highest total in the history to date.
Pakistan captain Misbah UL Haq won the toss and decided to bat first. It was a brilliant batting effort by the Pakistani batters as they posted 329 for 6 in 50 overs. Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed scored centuries putting on 224 runs for the opening wicket laying a strong foundation for a big total.
Chasing 330 runs to win, Virat Kohli came to the crease with Gautam Gambhir dismissed off the very first delivery. He showed his class by putting pressure on Pakistan bowlers right from the word go keeping the scoreboard ticking. Kohli reached fifty off 52 deliveries and continued his attacking approach against Pakistan bowling.
Kohli looked in sublime touch completing his century off 97 deliveries. Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar added 133 runs for the 2nd wicket. The Indian star made batting look easy dominating the Pakistan bowlers and completed his 150 off 131 deliveries. It was a sensational innings as Kohli remained not out on 183 from 148 balls with 22 fours and 1 six to help India chase down the target of 330 with 6 wickets remaining and 13 balls to spare. For his 183 off 148 deliveries, Kohli was named the player of the match.
- Younis Khan – 144 (2004)
The veteran batter Younis Khan was in full flow with a superb knock of 144 against Hong Kong at R Singhalese Sports Club, Colombo on 18th July 2004.
Pakistan captain Inzamam UL Haq won the toss and decided to bat first. After a quick start, Imran Nazir and Imran Farahat lost their wickets in quick succession. Younis Khan came to the crease and looked in brilliant touch along with Shoaib Malik. Khan reached fifty off 60 deliveries keeping pressure on Hong Kong bowlers.
Khan upped the ante with attacking strokes and put enough pressure on Hong Kong bowlers. He completed his century off 99 deliveries. His innings came to an end with a superb 144 off 122 deliveries with 8 fours and 3 sixes helping Pakistan post 343 for 5 in 50 overs. Pakistan won the match comfortably by 173 runs. Shoaib Malik scored 118 off 110 balls and grabbed 4 wickets in the process.
- Mushfiqur Rahim – 144 (2018)
The experienced wicketkeeper batter from Bangladesh, Mushfiqur Rahim showed his class with a match-winning knock in the opening match of Asia Cup 2018 against Sri Lanka at Dubai International Stadium, Dubai on 15th September.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss and decided to bat first. Rahim came at the crease with the Tigers struggling at 1 for 2. Rahim looked impressive with attacking shots and put Sri Lankan bowlers under pressure.
Rahim looked calm completing his half-century off 67 balls with Mohammed Mithun also reaching his fifty. Despite losing a flurry of wickets at the other end, Rahim kept his calm and reached his 100 off 123 deliveries.
Rahim then attacked Sri Lankan bowlers and was the final batter to be dismissed for 144 off 150 balls with 11 fours and 4 sixes to help Bangladesh post 261 in 49.3 overs. Bangladesh won the match by 137 runs with an impressive bowling performance. For his match-winning knock, Mushfiqur Rahim was named the man of the match award.
- Mohammed Shahzad – 124 (2018)
Afghanistan wicketkeeper sensation Mohammed Shahzad showed his class with a superb knock against India in the Super 4 stage played at Dubai International Stadium, Dubai on 15th September 2018.
Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan won the toss and decided to bat first. Shahzad showed intent right from the word go putting enough pressure on Indian bowlers. Despite losing wickets of Javed Ahmadi, Rahmat Shah, Shahidi, and Asghar Afghan, Shahzad looked in great touch reaching his half-century off just 37 deliveries.
Shahzad continued to dominate the Indian bowlers and scored a century off 88 deliveries. Mohammad Nabi also made a valuable contribution along with Najibullah Zadran. Shahzad was dismissed for 124 off 116 deliveries with 11 fours and 7 sixes that helped Afghanistan post 252 for 8 in 50 overs. The match ended in a tie with Indian being bowled out for 252 in 49.5 overs.
For his 124 off 116 balls, Mohammed Shahzad was named the man of the match award. Dhoni captained India in the 200th One-day international.
- Shoaib Malik – 143 in 2004
Shoaib Malik scored a superb knock against arch-rivals India on 25th July 2004 at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. Pakistan captain Inzamam UL Haq won the toss and decided to bat first on a good batting pitch.
Malik came to the crease as Pakistan lost an early wicket of Imran Nazir in the very first over. Shoaib looked in great touch putting pressure on the Indian bowlers hitting boundaries with ease. He reached fifty in quick time off 41 deliveries and made life tough for the bowlers.
Malik stood firm for Pakistan as Yasir Hameed, Inazamam UL Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, and Abdul Razzaq gave him good support. Malik completed his century off 95 deliveries and continued his brilliant batting.
He was eventually dismissed for 143 off 127 balls with 18 fours and 1 six that helped Pakistan post 300 for 9. In reply, India could only score 241 for 8 in 50 overs as Pakistan registered a thumping 59-run win. For his 143 off 127 deliveries, Shoaib Malik was named the man of the match award. He also picked 2 for 42 with the ball.