Pakistan grab semis spot, Bangladesh end behind Netherlands
Pakistan eased into the semifinals of the T20 World Cup, beating Bangladesh by six wickets in Adelaide on Sunday. The win sees Pakistan temporarily take top spot in Group 2.
If India beat Zimbabwe in the last match of the group, India will go top and will take on England in the second semifinal with Pakistan playing against New Zealand. Any other result in that match, would alter the matchup of the semifinals.
Pakistan chased down 128-run target with five wickets in hand and with 11 balls to spare. Nasum Ahmed and Ebadot Hossain, two of the three changes made by Bangladesh, took a wicket each while skipper Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman took one each. The other one was a run-out.
Earlier, Bangladesh threw away a decent start after winning the toss against Pakistan in this winner-takes-all encounter. They were 70 for one at half-way through the innings before a massive collapse, triggered by a controversial dismissal of Shakib, saw them score only 58 runs in the last ten overs.
Both teams had started the day with slim chance of progressing to the last four but South Africa's defeat against Netherlands early in the morning opened up the shootout opportunity for them. While Pakistan grabbed the chance with both hands despite going into the backfoot losing the toss of the coin, Bangladesh failed to make it count.
The defeat meant Bangladesh might end their T20 World Cup campaign in fifth position, if India beat Zimbabwe, in the group with four points, courtesy of wins against lower-ranked Zimbabwe and Netherlands. Netherlands finished above Bangladesh on net run-rate. If Zimbabwe beat India or the match is rained out, Bangladesh would finish bottom of the group.
However, Bangladesh team and fans will have plenty to shout about now and in time to come regarding their best World Cup campaign in the format, with key umpiring decisions in matches against India and Pakistan going against them.