World Cup drama! Game over, then alive as ultra-rare no-ball call causes chaos in Bangladesh-Zimbabwe classic

You could live a thousand years without seeing anything like what happened in the final of Bangladesh’s thrilling World Cup victory over Zimbabwe.

Forget what preceded it in an already dramatic finale by Tigers spinner Mosaddek Hossain, which saw two wickets, an incredible slipped six from Zimbabwean tailender Richard Ngarava, and an extremely unlucky four byes over the shoulder of the same man.

Needing five to win and four to force a super on the final ball, Blessing Muzarabani danced across the pitch, swung, missed and was stumped for miles by Nurul Hasan. That seemed to be it.

But not at this World Cup, which is already shaping up to be the most spectacular edition of the short-form tournament of all time. Because in his haste to complete the stump removal, the goalkeeper had committed a rare offence: he had taken the ball in front of the stumps.

As the two teams shake hands and walk off the court with everyone convinced the match is over, the third referee continues to deliberate.

And to the chagrin of everyone at the Gabba and the delirium of the Zimbabwean fan contingent, the mistake was confirmed: Zimbabwe would have one last chance to snatch the most remarkable of victories.

Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh celebrates the exhaustion of Sean Williams of Zimbabwe. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

As it happens, the reprieve would make no difference: Muzarabani would again fail to make contact with the re-bowled final ball, Nurul was more careful in where he collected the ball this time, and a Tigers win at three points was officially confirmed.

Earlier, Bangladesh flyhalf Najmul Hossain Shanto (71 on 55 balls) had propelled his team to 7-150 at bat first.

A dazzling spell from pacemaker Taskin Ahmed (3-19) also inspired the win which keeps their semi-final hopes alive.

It took a magnificent run from skipper Shakib Al Hasan to finally bring Bangladesh home, after a superb response from Zimbabwe.

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Zimbabwe needed 82 from the final eight overs and veteran Sean Williams (62 from 42) and Ryan Burl (27 from 25) reduced that to 19 from nine when Al Hasan chased Williams with a trick and pitched in a single move of his own bowling to seal the deal.

The victory took Bangladesh to four points in group two, but they still have to face India and Pakistan.

The defeat reduced Zimbabwe’s chances in the final and they remain on three points.

Ahmed’s run has made him the tournament’s top wicket taker in the Super 12 segment to date, with eight.

Earlier, Shanto posted his highest international score in the format after suffering hamstring issues earlier in his innings.

Shanto lost opening partner Soumya Sarkar in the second round but combined with Al Hasan (23) in a 54-run stand for the third wicket, giving their bowlers something to defend.


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