Bangladesh survived intense drama and a chaotic final over before prevailing by three runs in a T20 World Cup thriller against Zimbabwe in Brisbane on Sunday.
Chasing 151 for victory in the see-saw contest, Zimbabwe slumped to 35/4 in the Powerplay but Sean Williams’s valiant 64 left them needing 16 runs off the final over from off-spinner Mosaddek Hossain at the Gabba.
Zimbabwe scored 11 off the first five deliveries, losing two wickets in the process, but Blessing Muzarabani was stumped off the sixth, prompting celebration in the Bangladesh camp.
But as the players were shaking hands, they were told the match was not yet finished because the final delivery was adjudged a no-ball as Bangladesh keeper Nurul Hasan had collected the ball in front of the stumps, not behind.
The result did not change though as Muzarabani missed the ball again with his wild swing off the free-hit this time.
“I have never experienced something like this,” said opener Najmul Hossain whose career-best 71 fired Bangladesh to a competitive 150/7. Zimbabwe’s Williams too termed the drama at the end as “extremely weird”.
Down, but not out
But even in defeat, Zimbabwe, who have surprised pundits in this tournament with their sturdy performances, chose to count the positives.
“Obviously we’re unhappy but it’s an attitude for us that we got to take the positive from today and move into tomorrow with that,” Williams said.
After years of turmoil and decline, this Zimbabwe side reflects energy, purpose and spirit. They are still far from their glory days of the 1990s, but it seems they are on the right path.
Brief scores: Bangladesh 150/7 in 20 overs (Najmul Shanto 71; Blessing Muzarabani 2/13). Zimbabwe 147/8 in 20 ovs (Sean Williams 64; Tasking Ahmed 3/19). Bangladesh won by 3 runs.
Written with inputs from Reuters