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Rain delays India-Bangladesh Asia Cup final

AFP logoAFP 06-03-2016
Bangladeshi ground staff cover the field as rain falls before the Asia Cup T20 cricket tournament final match between Bangladesh and India at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on March 6, 2016 © Provided by AFP Bangladeshi ground staff cover the field as rain falls before the Asia Cup T20 cricket tournament final match between Bangladesh and India at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on March 6, 2016

Rain coupled with gusty winds have delayed the start of the Asia Cup final between Bangladesh and India at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday.

Rain showered the stadium around 6:15pm (1215GMT), more than an hour before the scheduled start of the match.

Thousands of fans who spent hours in the queues to collect tickets for the match were drenched or forced to take shelter under the galleries due to the unexpected downpour.

A 20-minute power failure, which followed the rain, only made the matter worse as the connection to the flood-lights has yet to be restored.

The match has no reserve day, meaning the trophy will be shared in the event there is no play. The cut-off time to finish the game is 10:50pm local time.

Hosts Bangladesh are hoping to cause a major upset in the final in Dhaka by spoiling favourites India's preparations for the World Twenty20, which starts next week.

Top-ranked India crushed Mashrafe Mortaza's side by 45 runs in the opening match of the tournament, but the hosts have since executed a turnaround, winning three matches on the trot to qualify for the final.

Bangladesh's five-wicket win over Pakistan on Wednesday, watched by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from a packed gallery, sparked jubilation in the cricket-mad nation.

India are five-times winners of the Asia Cup, which takes place every two years, although India's winning meets were all held in the previous 50-over one-day international format.

MS Dhoni's side -- who have won nine of their last 10 Twenty20 internationals -- will start the final as favourites, but the Indian captain said nothing could be taken for granted, especially in the shortest format of international cricket.

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