Late drama fails to give Zimbabwe the upset it hoped for

Bangladesh's Najmul Shanto cracks maiden T20 half century as they overcome the Zimbabwe hurdle
Oct 30, 2022
<p>Bangladesh’s Najmul Shanto hit a maiden T20 50. PHOTO: AFP</p>

Bangladesh’s Najmul Shanto hit a maiden T20 50. PHOTO: AFP

Late drama at Brisbane’s Gabba could not allow Zimbabwe to score an unlikely upset over Bangladesh as the latter won by three runs to solidify their chances of progressing to the next round of the ICC T20 World Cup.

Earlier, Zimbabwe were on the cusp of pulling off a second upset in a week, as they needed just 16 runs in the final over to reach the 151 run target set by Bangladesh.

With four wickets in hand, the final over started off a little wobbly with a leg-by.

Evans launched a massive effort to clear the square boundary but the Gabba proved to be more than a match and it sailed comfortably into the hands of Soumya Sarkar.

This meant that Zimbabwe had just three wickets remaining. Worse still, they needed 15 runs off the last four balls. Doable but difficult.

But Richard Ngarava had other ideas four leg-byes and a six off successive deliveries helped relive pressure off Zimbabwe.

Still needing five off the last two deliveries, Ngarava thought to wrap it up early and charged down the pitch for a big lift. But he completely missed the ball, leaving a simple stumping for the keeper.

Muzarabani had one ball and just one chance to win it for Zimbabwe.

Like Ngarava, he stepped out of the crease for a big heave-ho but like Ngarava, missed the ball completely.

Even as the umpires referred the matter to the box for a closer look, there were jubilations in the Bangladesh camp since all the deliveries had been bowled.

But there was late drama when the umpire determined that wicketkeeper Nurul had caught the ball in front of the stumps and all the players had to return to the center because the ball was declared a no-ball and had to be bowled again.

The delivery was bowled again, but Muzarabani could not capitalize on the reprieve and the match swung definitively to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh set Zimbabwe 151 run target

Opener Najmul Shanto scored a maiden Twenty20 half-century Sunday to help steer Bangladesh to 150-7 in their World Cup Super 12 game against Zimbabwe at Brisbane’s Gabba ground.

After a slow start in which Bangladesh made just 63-2 off the first 10 overs, Shanto led the charge to smack 40 off the next five before he fell for 71 with seven fours and a six in his 55-ball knock, helped by some sloppy fielding.

Afif Hossain chipped in with 29 with Blessing Muzarabani the pick of the bowlers on 2-13.

Fresh from their stunning last-gasp, one-run upset over Pakistan, a win for a confident Zimbabwe would put them top of Group 2, at least temporarily.

Table-toppers India face South Africa later while Pakistan meet the Netherlands in a must-win game, both clashes in Perth.

Bangladesh, ranked two spots higher than Zimbabwe, are looking to bounce back from a heavy 104-run defeat to South Africa and keep themselves in the hunt for a semi-final place.

Skipper Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and chose to bat on a glorious day only to see opener Soumya Sarkar out in the second over without scoring, caught behind off pace bowler Muzarabani.

Shanto was in good touch, smacking two early boundaries as he put on 22 with Liton Das before Das ballooned a catch to Tendai Chatara off a slower delivery from Muzarabani.

It left Bangladesh on 32-2 after the six-over powerplay, where only two fielders are allowed outside the 30-yard circle.

Despite some scratchy fielding, Zimbabwe bowled economically on a fast and bouncy track to keep the score down to 63-2 at the halfway stage.

But once past that mark, Bangladesh became more aggressive and rotated the strike well with Shanto reaching his first T20 50 off 45 balls – Bangladesh’s first half-century of the tournament.

Al Hasan, who has played in every T20 World Cup since its inception in 2007, survived a run-out chance on 23 at the other end but fell five balls later, caught brilliantly by Muzarabani from spinner Sean Williams, snapping a 54-run partnership.

Shanto kept going alongside Hossain then holed out to Craig Ervine before Bangladesh took 47 from the last five overs.

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ICC T20 World Cup

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