Heading into the final group-stage games, South Africa seemed certain to advance from Group 2 but slumped to a 13-run loss to the Netherlands, meaning the winner of the Pakistan-Bangladesh game at the Adelaide Oval would reach the final four.
Shaheen Shah Afridi starred with the ball with 4-22 for Pakistan, who lost their opening two World Cup games, as they restricted Bangladesh 127-8 before chasing down the target with 11 balls to spare.
Mohammad Rizwan (32 from 32), Mohammad Haris (31 from 18) and Shan Masood (24* from 14) contributed to the successful chase, which was far from seamless.
Bangladesh were left frustrated after a controversial decision by third umpire Langton Rusere who gave out captain Shakib Al Hasan LBW for a golden duck despite appearing to hit the ball.
Shakib’s wicket was one of two to fall in Shadab Khan’s over after Bangladesh had been 70-1 at the 10-over mark, appearing destined for a far-greater score. Opener Najmul Hossain Shanton top scored for the Tigers with 54 from 48 balls but Bangladesh lost their way after his dismissal at 91-4 in the 14th over.
Shakib reluctant to walk after dubious call
Shakib’s dismissal was a key moment, and it was controversial, with the Bangladesh skipper reluctant to walk despite being given out by both the on-field umpire and the third umpire.
Bangladesh were set to launch for a total of 150-plus at the halfway mark, before losing Soumya Sarkar and Shakib in successive deliveries. After being given out LBW, Shakib quickly reviewed the decision. The replay showed a mark on Ultra Edge coinciding with the ball’s path past the bat, yet Langton deemed that no bat was involved, believing Shakib instead had hit the ground with his bat.
Pakistan advance against all odds
Pakistan’s World Cup seemed over after losing two final-over thrillers to rivals India and lowly Zimbabwe to open their tournament, yet they have responded to progress to the semi-finals. That hardly seemed possible after South Africa toppled India last Sunday but the 2009 champions remain in the hunt for a second title.
That’s all the more staggering given gun batsman Babar Azam failed again, scoring 25 off 33 balls, having managed only 39 runs at 7.80 in five games.