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India, who had withdrawn from the 1985-86 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, won the region's third tournament, styled the Wills Asia Cup 88. They beat Sri Lanka in the final to avenge a 17-run defeat in the preliminary round and so regained the trophy they first won in Sharjah in 1983-84.
Pakistan and the hosts, Bangladesh, made up the four countries which competed for the trophy and prizemoney of $US67,500 (£39,020), of which $US30,000 (£17,340) went to the winners and $US15,000 (£8,670) to the runners-up. The matches, staged in the capital, Dhaka, and in Chittagong, a port to the south, were the first official one-day internationals to be played in Bangladesh, although the extremely severe flooding of the previous months had led to doubts that the tournaments would proceed there. At the time, it was thought that the matches involving Bangladesh did not count as official one-day internationals, but at its annual meeting in 1989, ICC recognised retrospectively the official status of Bangladesh's games in the Asia Cup.
Sri Lanka won all their matches in the preliminary rounds but were outplayed by India's solid all-round performance in the final. Pakistan's form was disappointing, with only victory over Bangladesh to their credit.
They were, however, at various times during the tournament, weakened by injuries, which robbed them of their captain, Javed Miandad - with a recurrence of back trouble - Saleem Jaffer and Manzoor Elahi. Injuries also accounted for the Sri Lankan captain, Ranjan Madugalle, after the first match, and the Indian vice-captain, Ravi Shastri, who did not play once.
In addition to the Asia Cup matches, a charity match was played between India, the champions, and an Invitation XI captained by Sunil Gavaskar. This raised $US70,000 (£40,460) for the relief of Bangladesh's flood victims.
Match reports for
1st Match: Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Dhaka, Oct 27, 1988
2nd Match: Bangladesh v India at Chittagong, Oct 27, 1988
3rd Match: India v Sri Lanka at Dhaka, Oct 29, 1988
4th Match: Bangladesh v Pakistan at Chittagong, Oct 29, 1988
5th Match: India v Pakistan at Dhaka, Oct 31, 1988
6th Match: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Dhaka, Nov 2, 1988
Final: India v Sri Lanka at Dhaka, Nov 4, 1988