India registered a close win over Bangladesh by five runs in their Group 2 Super 12 encounter on Wednesday, moving one step closer to sealing their place in the T20 World Cup semifinal. Bangladesh made a strong start after coming out to chase 185 runs in the rain-delayed match with opening batsman Litton Das scoring a half-century in just 21 balls inside the powerplay.
However, a rain delay slowed down Bangladesh’s progress, and they lost several wickets in quick succession while chasing the revised target of 151 runs from 16 overs, ending on 145/6. Bangladesh was cruising at 66/0 in seven overs when play was stopped by rain, 17 runs more than the DLS par score of 49/0. Had the game not continued, Bangladesh would have won. That, however, was not the case.
A few events that happened throughout the game caused some controversy. Shakib Al Hasan first voiced his dissatisfaction as the umpire declared the ball a no-ball after the batter on strike – Virat Kohli – made a gesture. Then, Bangladesh’s wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan accused Kohli of ‘fake fielding’ during their team’s chase.
Even since Hasan’s comments, many experts have voiced their opinions, and former Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi was the latest one to join the bandwagon.
During a chat with SAMAA TV, Shahid Afridi said: “Shakib Al Hasan said the same thing and it was shown on the screen as well. You saw the ground and how wet it was. But I feel that the ICC is somewhat inclined towards India. They want to ensure that India reaches the semifinals at any cost. And the umpires were also the same who officiated India vs Pakistan game. The world knows they will get the best umpire awards.”
While being critical of India, Shahid Afridi heaped praises on Bangladesh opener Litton Das, who before being run out, smashed 60 off just 27 balls. His wicket led to Bangladesh’s batting unit crashing down as Indian bowlers started picking up back-to-back wickets.
Shahid Afridi further explained, “Given the amount of rain that happened, the game resumed immediately after the break. It is very evident that ICC, then India playing, then the pressure that comes with it, there are many factors involved but Litton’s batting was amazing. He played positive cricket. After six overs, we felt that if Bangladesh didn’t lose wickets for another 2-3 overs, they would have won the match. Overall, the fight shown by Bangladesh was brilliant.”