In an edge of a seat thriller, Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka by two wickets in a virtual semi-final of the Nidahas Trophy in Colombo 2018 on Friday. Chasing 160 to win, all-rounder Mahmudullah struck a huge maximum off the penultimate delivery of 20th over to give Tigers a memorable victory. With this win, Bangladesh have set the final showdown against India on Sunday. The victory, however, came amidst a lot of controversy in the final over of the match.
With 12 runs required of the final 6 deliveries, Isuru Udana came in to bowl the last over of the match with Mustafizur Rahman on strike. He started off with a head-high bouncer, which Mustafizur failed to connect. The second ball was a similar one, which Mustafizur missed again. Mahmudullah, who was at the non-striker's end tried to steal a quick single to get back on strike, but Mustafizur was run-out at the other end.
How many demerit points today? Many more than in South Africa I would imagine!— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 16, 2018
Not impressed by Shakib’s instincts as captain & leader. Wanting to call his players off the field because of umpiring decisions. Nearly denied Bangladesh one of their greatest wins.#NidahasOnDSport— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 16, 2018
It was at this time that the Bangladeshi camp, led by Shakib al Hasan, who was at the boundary was furious that the umpire did not call a no-ball. Earlier, the square leg umpire signalled it as a no ball initially for the second bouncer but then changed his decision (since he didn't signal one for the over after the first ball) which got a few Bangladeshi players worked up.
As things started to get heating up there, Tharanga pushed one of the Bangladesh substitute players who was out there serving water to Mahmudullah. It has not gone down well with Shakib Al Hasan who was seen fuming at the boundary line. This led to Shakib calling back his batsmen back to the pavillion. The match officials were also seen getting involved but Shakib ain't agreeing. He was in no mood to forgive and wants his batsmen off the ground.
Haven't seen such ugly scenes on the cricket field.. umpires made the mistake by not calling the second ball of 20th over a no-ball and Shakib almost forfeited the match! Good that better sense prevailed & Mahmudullah took Bangladesh to a thrilling win.#SLvBAN #NidahasTrophy2018— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) March 16, 2018
After a while, better sense finally prevailed as the two teams got back into the action with Mahmudullah smashing the very next ball for a boundary. He followed it up with a couple of runs off the next ball.
Udana then bowls the fifth ball full on the leg stump which Mahmudullah picked up brilliantly and dismissed it over deep square leg for a maximum.
The ugly scenes led to players from both the teams clashing with each other, an incident which will surely be looked in detail from the ICC.
Mahmudullah, who captained for Bangladesh in the absence of Shakib in the previous matches, played a match-winning knock of 43 not out from 18 balls. It included three fours and two sixes as Bangladesh reached the target with 1 ball to spare.
Opener Tamim Iqbal, who top-scored for the Tigers with a half-century later dismissed the final over the controversy and said they will put the incident behind them.
"Very emotional finish, we saw the leg umpire signal a no-ball, we were complaining about the no-ball. We could have done it nicely. We won't create anything bad about this incident. I did a good job, but if I could have continued a but longer, but we won so all forgotten," Tamim said after the match.
Speaking at the post-match conference, Bangladesh skipper Shakib also apologised for his behaviour after the game, he said: "You can't expect more than that in a T20 game, so much excitement, emotion. Credit goes to SL, losing five early wickets. We kept our nerves in the end. I knew I was not 100% as far as batting is concerned. We always had healthy competition in the ground, but outside, we are friends. Emotions take over, I need to be careful as a leader of a team, I will be careful next time".