Team India are pretty much close to securing a berth in the semi-final of the ongoing T20 World Cup following a thrilling five-run victory against Bangladesh in their Group 2 Super 12 match on Wednesday.
The rain-marred contest saw Bangladesh get off to an excellent start in their 185-run chase, with opener Litton Das scoring a 21-ball half-century. However, the rain interval hampered their momentum and chasing a revised target of 151 from 16 overs, the Tigers lost wickets in regular intervals, finishing on 145/6.
During the match, a few incidents attracted a bit of controversy. Firstly, Shakib Al Hasan expressed his disappointment after the umpire signalled a wide following a gesture by striker Virat Kohli. Then, Kohli was spotted feigning a throw, which Bangladesh wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan took note of and accused the former India captain of ‘fake fielding’ after the match.
The result also reduced Pakistan’s hopes of qualifying for the semis and post the match; a Pakistan TV reporter alleged that ICC is pulling all the stops to ensure that ‘India reach the final’.
“Shakib Al Hasan bhi yehi keh rahe the. Aur woh screen par bhi dikhaya gaya. Aap ne ground dekhi… geeli thi. Par mujhe lagta hai ki ICC ka jhukaav jo hai, woh zara India ko kisi tareeke se semifinal pohuchaane ke liye kar raha hai. Aur umpires bhi wohi thhe jo Pakistan ke match mein the. Puuri duniya ke behtereen umpire ka award bhi unko jaana Chahiye. (Shakib Al Hasan said the same thing, and it was shown on the screen as well. You saw the ground how wet it was. But I feel that the ICC is somewhat inclined towards India. They want to ensure that India reach the semifinals at any cost. And the umpires were also the same who officiated the India vs Pakistan game. The world knows they will get the best umpire awards),” said the reporter on SAMAA TV.
Pakistan cricket legend Shahid Afridi was also a panellist on the show and responded to the reporter’s claim while lavishing praise on Bangladesh opener Litton for his 27-ball 60 run knock.
“I know what happened. 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,” said Afridi.