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Tigers win ‘battle of nerves’

Keep semis hope alive

  • Samsul Arefin Khan From Brisbane
  • 31 October, 2022 12:00 AM
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Bangladesh held their nerves successfully in the final ball to complete a thrilling three-run win over Zimbabwe to make a spectacular comeback in the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup at the Gabba on Sunday.

The Tigers needed to defend 16 runs in the final over after they posted 150-7 and off-spinning all-rounder Mosaddek Hossain kept his cool and conceded 11 runs in that over to restrict Zimbabwe to 146-9.

The defeat left Zimbabwe, who stunned Pakistan by one run on Thursday, still in the hunt for a semifinal place with three points.

However, things got bizarre when the third umpire checked the wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan Sohan’s position in the final ball and it was found out that Sohan took the ball in front of the stumps before he broke it to dismiss Blessing Muzarabani.

According to the rules, if a wicketkeeper takes a ball in front of the stumps, the opposition team will be awarded a no-ball and although Bangladeshi players completed their winning celebration and shook their hands with opposition teammates on the field, they were told to bowl the final delivery again.

Zimbabwe’s no 11 batsman Muzarabani now got a revised target of four runs in the final ball and the delivery would also be a free hit but Mosaddek bowled a quicker length ball outside the off stumps towards Muzarabani for a dot ball that finally confirmed Bangladesh’s victory.

Earlier, pacer Taskin Ahmed demonstrated yet another lethal bowling performance as he finished with 3-19 while another pacer Mustafizur Rahman claimed 2-15 as Bangladesh reduced the opposition to 69-5 in 11.2 overs.

Sean Williams (64) and Ryan Burl (27 not out) then shared a 63-run stand for the sixth wicket to bring their side back in the match before the former was run out by Shakib Al Hasan’s brilliant direct throw of his own bowling in the 19th over.

With 16 runs needed in the last six balls, Mosaddek went for only one run in the first two balls while he also dismissed Brad Evans in the second delivery.

The situation suddenly changed for Bangladesh when Richard Ngarava smashed him for a four (four leg-byes) and a six in successive deliveries that made the equation five off the last two balls for Zimbabwe.

Mosaddek (2-34) dismissed Ngarava in the next ball before all these mind-boggling dramas took place in front of over 5500 fans at the Gabba gallery.

With this win, Bangladesh also keep their semifinal chances alive in the tournament as they now have four points from three games.

Bangladesh will now play against India on November 2 at Adelaide Oval before they face Pakistan at the same venue on November 6 in their last Group 2 Super 12 match.

Earlier, Najmul Hossain Shanto produced a splendid knock of 71 off 55 balls to become the first Bangladeshi batter to score a fifty in the ongoing T20 World Cup that helped the Tigers post an average total in their 20 overs after they decided to bat first in a hot and sunny condition in Brisbane.

The Tigers made one change from their last match defeat against South Africa as they brought in Yasir Ali again in place of Mehidy Hasan Miraz on a fast batting-friendly surface.

Bangladesh had a relatively poor start than what they got in their opening two matches against Netherlands and South Africa as they could make only 32 runs in the powerplay while losing two wickets of Soumya Sarkar (0) and Liton Das (12) of bowling from pacer Muzarabani (2-13).

Najmul then shared a 54-run stand for the third wicket with skipper Shakib that set a solid platform for the side for the final overs before Shakib was top-edged while trying to play a big slog-sweep after making 23 runs.

In the next over, Najmul completed his maiden fifty off 45 balls and it took him 15 T20I innings to reach the milestone.

After completing his fifty, the left-hander started to come out from the shell and made 21 runs in the next nine balls before he was dismissed by Sikandar Raza, who had a poor outing in the game both with the ball and the bat (1-35 with the ball and three-ball-zero with the bat).

Afif Hossain made 29 off 19 balls but Bangladesh could score only 47 runs for the loss of four wickets in the final five overs forcing them to remain 10-15 runs short in their innings, but their bowlers were able to successfully defend that total breathtakingly at the end.