Bangladesh got their Twenty20 World Cup back on track Sunday with a thrilling last-ball win over Zimbabwe, aided by opener Najmul Shanto’s maiden half-century and Taskin Ahmed’s three wickets.
Shanto (71) helped steer Bangladesh to 150-7 at Brisbane’s Gabba ground in a match that went to the wire with Zimbabwe needing 16 off an incredible last over.
It saw two wickets fall, a big six and the teams walking off thinking the match was over, only to be recalled.
Bangladesh believed they had won when Blessing Muzarabani, needing five to win, was stumped trying to hit a six off the last ball with the fielding team celebrating as the players shook hands and left the field.
But a review showed wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan’s gloves taking the ball in front of the stumps, which is illegal, and it was called a no-ball.
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Bangladesh hang on in CRAZY victory | 01:22
The teams had to return to the field for a free hit with four needed to win, but Muzarabani swung and missed again leaving Zimbabwe short on 147-8.
Victory pushed Bangladesh to four points in Group 2 with two games remaining level with India who face South Africa, who have three points, in Perth later Sunday.
Pakistan meet the Netherlands in a must-win game, also in Perth, with neither side yet to score a point.
Defeat left Zimbabwe, who stunned Pakistan by one run on Thursday, still in the hunt for a semi-final place with three points.
The top two in each group advance to the last four.
Bangladesh 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 smacked two early boundaries as he put on 22 with Liton Das before Das ballooned a catch to Tendai Chatara off a slower Muzarabani delivery.
Despite some scratchy fielding, Zimbabwe bowled economically 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.
Zimbabwe were on the back foot immediately in reply, with Wessly Madhevere out on just the third ball, top-edging Ahmed to Mustafizur Rahman in the deep.
It got worse when skipper Craig Ervine followed him back to the pavilion two overs later, edging to wicketkeeper Hasan with Ahmed taking his second.
Mustafizur Rahman was brought into the attack and took Milton Shumba on his second ball then danger man Sikandar Raza was out in the same over to leave Zimbabawe on 35-4.
Sean Williams (64) and Regis Chakabva pushed them to 64-4 after 10 overs, but a bowling change broke the partnership with Ahmed returning to remove Chakabva (15).
They needed 56 from the last five overs and when Williams was run out with eight balls left their hopes appeared to end before the dramatic last over.
Finch: We aren’t worried about run rate | 01:54
PAKISTAN MAKE HISTORY IN CRUCIAL WIN
Elsewhere, Pakistan won their first-ever T20 international game in Australia after a six-wicket victory over the Netherlands.
Pakistan restricted the Netherlands to 91-9 in their must-win Super 12 match with spinner Shadab Khan taking 3-22.
Pakistan, who went down to India and then Zimbabwe, and the Netherlands, who have been beaten by Bangladesh and South Africa, both desperately needed a first win to have any hope of progressing from Group 2to the semi-finals.
Netherlands captain Scott Edwards won the toss and chose to bat first but Pakistan’s new-ball bowlers kept a disciplined line to keep it to three runs from the first two overs.
Returning opener Stephan Myburgh broke the shackles with a boundary off Shaheen Shah Afridi only to fall next ball, caught at fine leg attempting another big hit to be out for six.
There was no respite from the Pakistan quick bowlers.
Mohammad Wasim took two wickets in two balls only for Paul van Meekeren to survive the hat-trick delivery, and Haris Rauf made good use of the bounce on offer.
A nasty bouncer from Rauf got through Bas de Leede’s helmet grill, forcing the batsman off the ground with a bruised cheek bone.
Shadab’s leg spin had Tom Cooper caught for one after the power play and then trapped Max O’ Dowd lbw for eight in his next over.
After crawling to 34-3 after 10 overs, and with De Leede retired hurt in six, Netherlands captain Edwards and Colin Ackermann (27) attempted to rebuild with a 35-run stand but once they were separated the wickets kept tumbling.
Shadab trapped Ackermann lbw with a quicker and flatter delivery and Edwards fell soon after, for 15, to Naseem Shah.
Van Meekeren was last to fall, run out off the final ball for seven.
Opener Mohammad Rizwan led the way with the bat for Pakistan, putting up 49 runs to put them in a strong position to go on and take the win, albeit losing four wickets in the process.
Netherlands: Stephan Myburgh, Max O’Dowd, Bas de Leede, Colin Ackermann, Tom Cooper, Scott Edwards (capt), Roelof van der Merwe, Tim Pringle, Fred Klaassen, Brandon Glover, Paul van Meekeren
Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam (capt), Shan Masood, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah
Umpires: Paul Reiffel (AUS), Richard Illingworth (ENG)
TV Umpire: Langton Rusere (RSA)
Match Referee: David Boon (AUS)
ICC slammed for poor wet weather plan | 01:51
RAHUL WON’T BE REPLACED AS INDIA PREPARES FOR SOUTH AFRICA
India’s batting coach said on Saturday that his side is not fazed by fast bowling as it prepared to face South Africa on a bouncy Perth pitch at the Twenty20 World Cup.
One of the favourites to win the tournament, India have had a perfect start to the Super 12 stage with two wins, including one over arch-rivals Pakistan.
A win against the Proteas on Sunday would all but ensure a semi-finals spot. But a South African attack featuring Kagiso Rabada, Wayne Parnell and Anrich Nortje is set to test Indian batsmen on a Perth track that has provided pace and bounce aplenty in the World Cup so far.
Indian batting coach Vikram Rathour, however, expressed confidence in his side’s ability to navigate the conditions.
“The group of batters that we have in our team, I don’t think pace really bothers us that much,” he said.
Superstar Virat Kohli has led India’s batting charge Down Under, hitting an unbeaten 82 in the last-ball win over Pakistan in Melbourne.
Will we see Maxwell with the gloves? | 00:43
Kohli, skipper Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav then hammered the Netherlands bowling as a second win took them to the top of Group 2.
KL Rahul’s form has been a concern, however, after he scored four and nine in the two games.
Asked if the team management is looking to replace Rahul with Rishabh Pant, Rathour responded with a firm “No”.
“Two games, I don’t think that’s a good enough sample size,” he said. “(Rahul’s) been batting really well and he’s batted really well in the practice games also.” So far at the World Cup, India have not made explosive starts and gone instead with a more conservative approach and getting runs in the final few overs.
“I don’t think these are 200, 200-plus wickets, so we’ll need to adapt,” Rathour said.
“I think we have done pretty well in that regard so far.”