Insight Online News
Brisbane, Oct 30 : Bangladesh have kept boosted their chances of reaching the semifinals at the ICC T20 World Cup with a thrilling three-run victory over Zimbabwe here on Sunday.
Zimbabwe found themselves at the receiving end of a final over thriller with Blessing Muzarabani on strike and requiring four runs from the bowling of Mosaddek Hossain.
Everyone at the ground thought Hossain was the hero with back-to-back wickets from consecutive balls at the death, but Nurul Hasan had been found to take the ball in front of the stumps and the players were recalled to the field to replay the final delivery.
Hossain repeated the dose a second time around as Muzarabani came up empty on a big swipe to gift Bangladesh a victory they probably just deserved following a blistering new-ball spell from Taskin Ahmed (3/19) and an equally impressive haul of 2/15 from Mustafizur Rahman.
Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan and Zimbabwe’s Sean Williams are two of just four players at the T20 World Cup, who also featured in the first tournament in 2007 and the duo showed they still have what it takes to perform on the big stage.
Williams (64) had threatened to take away the match from the Asian side with a brilliant half-century, but Shakib produced a piece of magic in the field to run out his fellow veteran when he had Zimbabwe on the cusp of victory.
Williams had hit three boundaries from five balls to make the equation 19 needed from nine, but the Zimbabwe veteran didn’t count on Shakib throwing down the stumps from close range with a brilliant piece of work.
Shakib (0/34) went wicket-less from his four overs, but the Bangladesh skipper rose to the occasion to ensure his side stayed in the hunt for the semifinals.
Najmul Hossain Shanto paced Bangladesh with a career best innings of 71 from just 55 deliveries as the Asian side posted 150/7 in good batting conditions earlier in the day.
The Bangladesh opener enjoyed a 54-run partnership with Shakib (23), while Afif Hossain (29) also boosted the total that was helped by some poor Zimbabwe fielding.
The African side dropped a handful of easy chances and were left to rue the fact they let a few extra runs slip in the field with some sloppy efforts in the outfield.
Muzarabani (2/13) was the pick of the bowlers for Zimbabwe, while fellow quick Richard Ngarava (2/24) registered his own two-wicket haul.
The victory sees Bangladesh jump to second place on the Group 2 standings and they can clinch a berth in the final four with victories over India and Pakistan over the next week.
While Zimbabwe’s unbeaten start to the Super 12 stage is now over, the good news is they remain in the hunt for a semi-final berth.
Zimbabwe will need to defeat the Netherlands in Adelaide on Wednesday to stay in contention and then it may come down to their final Super 12 match against India at the MCG.