Heartbreak for Zimbabwe after last-ball drama in Brisbane

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Brisbane – Zimbabwe’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup suffered a major blow after losing by three runs against Bangladesh in an exciting Men’s T20 World Cup game at the iconic Gabba in Brisbane on Sunday.

Needing five from the final ball to successfully chase 151, number 10 Blessing Muzarabani was stumped.

But replays showed Tigers wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan had taken the ball in front of the wicket, meaning the delivery was a no-ball and the players – many of whom had shaken hands and left the field – were called back.

Only four runs were now needed, and the final ball a free hit, but Muzarabani failed to connect with spinner Mosaddek Hossain’s delivery, meaning Bangladesh were able to celebrate for a second time.

The win gives Bangladesh, who had reduced Zimbabwe to 35-4 before Sean Williams’ brilliant 64, a chance of reaching the semi-finals.

They climbed to second in the table but will have to beat India or Pakistan, possibly both, to qualify.

Zimbabwe, who shocked Pakistan in their last game, would have put themselves right in the mix for a qualification spot with a win but will now likely have to beat Netherlands and India.

They will rue a sloppy fielding display – Zimbabwe dropped catches and leaked runs with misfields – as opener Najmul Hossain Shanto hit 71 from 55 balls to help Bangladesh post 150-7.

After losing four wickets in the first six overs, Zimbabwe looked out of the match only for Williams to reignite their hopes and repel an energised Bangladesh, led by seamer Taskin Ahmed’s 3-19.

Left-hander Williams was seemingly taking his side to victory until he was brilliantly run out by Shakib al Hasan in the penultimate over. The Tigers captain had one stump to hit after swooping to field in the covers off his own bowling.

Next man in Brad Evans was caught with five balls to go but four leg byes, followed by a six from Richard Ngarava, swung the game again.

Five were needed from two balls but Ngarava was stumped before the chaos of the two ‘final’ balls, a situation reminiscent of 2022 T20 Blast final won by Hampshire.

“We all were nervous,” said Taskin. “It was the first time I saw something like that [no-ball].

“It was a very good match, it wasn’t easy for us.”

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