Bangladesh beats Zimbabwe after last-ball drama at world T20

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) – Shakib Al Hasan and his Bangladesh players hugged, traded high-fives, and shook hands with their Zimbabwe rivals as they walked off the field Sunday to celebrate what they thought was a narrow Super 12 win in the Twenty20 World Cup.

Back-to-back stumpings by wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan on the last two balls from Musaddek Hossain seemed to do the trick, dismissing two of Zimbabwe’s tail-end batters who’d needed five runs off the last two balls for victory.

Cue the tape. The on-field umpires asked for a routine review to confirm the last stumping decision but it stunned the players and the crowd when the words “Not Out” flashed up on a giant stadium screen.

Replays showed Hasan gloved the ball marginally in front of the stumps before whipping off the bails to complete the dismissal of Blessing Muzarabani in what should have been the last ball.

Instead, the umpire signaled no ball for Musaddek, and a free hit for Zimbabwe.

So all the fielders, batters and two umpires had to go back into position for the last delivery to be re-bowled. Except Zimbabwe, now 147-8 in reply to Bangladesh’s total of 150-7, had an adjusted target of four runs instead of five for an unlikely win.

Musaddek held his nerve and didn´t concede a run, with Muzarabina making a swing and a miss, giving Bangladesh just its second ever win in the second round of a T20 World Cup.

The last over, which started with Zimbabwe needing 16 runs off six balls for victory, overshadowed the previous 39 that were mostly controlled by Bangladesh.

Opener Najmul Hossain Shanto, who posted a career-high T20 score of 71 from 55 balls, said his Bangladesh lineup was confident right until the last ball.

“It was a new experience for us,” he said. “Musaddek bowled very well in this pressure situation. Honestly, it was a little bit nervous, but we believed we could do it.”

Shanto combined with his skipper Shakib Al Hasan (23) in a 54-run partnership for the third wicket and 36 with Afif Hossain (29 off 19) for the fourth to bolster Bangladesh´s innings after Muzarabini (2-13) took two early wickets for Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabweans struggled in the field on a warm day at the Gabba, with a series of misfields and dropped catches costing valuable runs, including two regulation chances put down in the last two overs.

Three wickets, including a run-out, in the last over of the innings from left-arm paceman Richard Ngarava (2-24) slowed Bangladesh´s flow of runs.

Pace bowlers Taskin Ahmed (3-19) and Mustafizur Rahman (2-15) combined to skittle Zimbabwe´s top order and give Bangladesh control but finished their full allocation with three overs to spare, leaving a chase of 40 off 18 balls.

Sean Williams (64) and Ryan Burl (27 not out) took it close in a 63-run partnership that revived Zimbabwe’s run chase and kept the contest alive.

After reaching his half century from 37 balls, Williams hit consecutive boundaries, including an outlandish swipe at a short-pitch ball off Hasan Mahmud, to lift Zimbabwe to 125-5 at the end of the 18th over.

That left Zimbabwe needing 26 off 12 balls with Bangladesh relying on its spin bowlers.

Williams cut the third ball from Shakib to the boundary but was run out next ball attempting a single, with some stunning fielding from Shakib producing the key breakthrough. Shakib raced to his right and then picked up, turned and threw down the stumps with a left-arm throw that caught Williams out of his crease at the non-striker´s end.

That set up the thriller in the last over, with Bangladesh hanging on to move a point above Zimbabwe, who had a washout against South Africa and win over Pakistan in earlier games, in Group 2.

“It was extremely weird,” Williams said of the no-ball decision on the last scheduled delivery. “Obviously, I´ve never experienced something like that in a cricket match before, but again, it just goes to show in a T20 game, there´s always a little bit of hope; anything can happen.

“It´s an emotional roller coaster, isn´t it?”

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