Pakistan won the Asia Cup for the first time since the competition began in 1983-84. It was their third consecutive one-day triumph under Moin Khan's captaincy after successes in Sharjah and the Caribbean. They arrived in Bangladesh on June 1 - straight from a punishing tour of the West Indies, with the tournament already under way - and won four games in six days to become undisputed one-day champions of the subcontinent.
No side could contain Pakistan's wonderfully destructive batsmen, who scored 1,085 runs for the loss of 17 wickets in all, an average of 63.82 per wicket. In Yousuf Youhana, they possessed a batsman in blistering form - he hit 80, 100 not out, 90 not out and 25 to average 147.50 - while their 233-run win against Bangladesh was, until Sri Lanka beat India by 245 runs in October, the largest victory in limited-overs internationals.
Sri Lanka, the defending champions, lost twice to Pakistan but convincingly beat Bangladesh and India. Marvan Atapattu was their dominant batsman with an aggregate of 245 runs, including a brave 100 in the final. But Sri Lanka's lower order fell away in both matches against Pakistan: the last five wickets caved in for 25 runs in the group match and 42 in the final. India, who had won four of the six previous Asia Cups, found their bowling too inexperienced - they conceded 249 to Bangladesh - and they were well beaten by both Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, hosts Bangladesh, who were looking to advance their case for Test status, were comprehensively defeated in all three games.
The tournament, originally planned for early 1999, but deferred because the three Test countries were contesting the Pepsi Cup in India, came under threat from two different sources. Torrential rain in Dhaka leading up to the tournament ceased just in time, though the opening match had to be put back by 24 hours. Before that, Indian coach Kapil Dev, who in the aftermath of the Cronje affair had been accused of match-fixing, wanted his side to pull out. "It is my personal opinion not to play because of the prevalent atmosphere," he said. The Indian authorities refused to sanction their withdrawal. However, in the tense mood that pervaded international cricket, Saber Hussain Chowdhury, president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, did ask the grounds committee not to divulge information about the weather or the pitch to anyone.
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