There was a second chance for Blessing Muzarabani as Nurul Hasan collected the ball in front of the stumps Getty Images/22103012
Three games on Sunday produced two thrillers and a one-sided contest. While Bangladesh and South Africa managed to keep their nerves and win nail biters, Pakistan finally picked up their first points of the World Cup. Cricket analyst Rahul Patil looks back at all the action from Australia.
vs Bangladesh - Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat first.
150 for 7 in 20 overs (Shanto 71, Ngarava 2/24) Zimbabwe 147 for 8 in 20 overs
(Sean Williams 64, Taskin 3/19, Mustafizur 2/15) by 3 runs.
Two relatively smaller teams produced a
thrilling contest at The Gabba in Brisbane along with drama that I have never
ever seen in a cricket match before. Chasing 151 for a victory Zimbabwe
required five to win off the last ball. Man on strike Blessing Muzarabani swung
hard at the ball but missed and was stumped by the keeper. The players walked
off the field and were shaking hands when the third umpire declared it a ‘no
ball’ as the keeper had collected the ball in front of the stumps. It meant
that Bangladesh would have to bowl the last delivery again and it would be a
free hit for Zimbabwe who now required four to win. Once again Muzarabani swung
and missed and Bangladesh heaved a sigh of relief.
Earlier Bangladesh managed to reach 150
for 7 in their 20 overs thanks mainly to a well-crafted 71 by opener Najmul
Hossain Shanto. Bangladesh were assisted time and again by some very ordinary
Zimbabwe fielding. Dropped catches, missed run out opportunities and poor
ground fielding were the order of the day for Zimbabwe and they only have
themselves to blame for it. On the other hand, Bangladesh were brilliant in
fielding and the highlight was the run out of Sean Williams by Shakib Al Hasan
who fielded one of his own bowling and hit the stumps directly while being off
balance. Until that moment Zimbabwe were favourites to win it. Once again
fielding was the difference between winning and losing.
vs Netherlands - Netherlands won the toss and batted first.
91 for 9 in 20 overs (Ackermann 27, Shadab 3/22, Wasim 2/15) lost to Pakistan
95 for 4 (Rizwan 49, Meekeren 1/19) by 6 wickets and 37 balls remaining.
Before their game against Netherlands,
Pakistan had never won a T20 international in Australia. But in a must win game
they won comfortably to pick up their first points of the World Cup.
On a fast and bouncy Perth pitch it was
feared that this would be a one-sided contest and the same happened. Batting
first Netherlands could only crawl to a well below par 91 in their 20 overs.
Their all rounder Bas de Leede also retired hurt being struck by a bouncer.
Pakistan were expected to get to the target quickly to boost their net run rate
but took their time in getting home losing four wickets in the bargain. With three
losses from three games Netherlands now have no chance of making it to the
semis whereas Pakistan hang on by a thread and live to fight another day.
vs South Africa - India won the toss and elected to bat.
133 for 9 in 20 overs (Suryakumar Yadav 68, Ngidi 4/29, Parnell 3/15) lost to
South Africa 137 for 5 in 19.4 overs (Markram 52, Miller 59*, Arshdeep 2/25,
Shami 1/13) by 5 wickets and 2 balls remaining.
When you are defending a target as small
as 134 you need a lot of things to go your way. Unfortunately for India on the
night, their fielding did not support their bowling which meant that South
Africa picked up the points and went to the top of the table in Group 2.
Choosing to bat first on a spicy Perth
track India were rocked by the pace and bounce of South Africa’s quick bowlers.
At 49 for 5 in the ninth over it looked like this too would be a one-sided
contest but Suryakumar Yadav had other plans. Singlehandedly he produced an
innings full of intelligent and inventive shot making. The way he used the pace
and bounce to his advantage was a lesson to all his teammates. The impact of
his innings can be understood by the fact that he scored more than half the
team’s runs while only playing a third of the available deliveries.
The Indian bowlers too troubled the South
African top order by utilising the swing on offer and at 24 for 3 it looked
like there was a glimmer of hope for India but Aiden Markram and David Miller
kept their cool, consolidated and then attacked the Indian bowling. In the
process they offered a number of chances to the Indian fielders but India’s
failure to convert those chances into wickets hurt them in the end. Miller
scored the winning runs to take South Africa home with two balls to spare. He
has been in phenomenal form this year and always seems to have things under
control when he is in the middle. South Africa and India are still favourites
to make it to the semi-finals from this group unless we see any more upsets in
the remaining games.