Shahid Afridi
'ICC helping India to reach Semi-finals,' says Shahid Afridi

The Duckworth-Lewis method has always been controversial and this time it happened again in the India vs South Africa match. India moved closer to securing a T20 World Cup semi-final berth with a close five-run win over Bangladesh in their Group 2 Super 12 match on Wednesday.

Bangladesh got off to an explosive start in the rain-hit competition chasing 185, with opener Liton Das scoring a 21-ball half-century, but a rain gap hampered their pace and a revised target of 151 in 16 overs. As the game restarted after the rain break, Bangladesh lost wickets in a cluster, ending at 145/6. When rain interrupted play, Bangladesh was 66/0 in 7 overs, the DLS par score was 49/0, and if the match had not resumed, Bangladesh would have finished as winners by 17 runs.

India Won the thriller by 5 runs (ESPNCricinfo)

Some incidents during the match created controversy. Firstly, Shakib Al Hasan expressed his displeasure after the umpire signaled wide following a gesture by striker Virat Kohli. And later, when Kohli bowled a throw while fielding, Bangladesh wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan took exception as he accused the former India captain of ‘fake fielding’.

With the win, India moved to the top of the table with six points, followed by South Africa at 5 and Bangladesh at 4. Ideally, 6 points are good enough to qualify for the last four, but with some matches still left, nothing is guaranteed given the current situation. The result further dented Pakistan’s hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals.

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Shahid Afridi made a bold statement

Shahid Afridi responded when a reporter from a Pakistan TV channel ‘SAMAA TV’ said that the ICC is removing all stops to ensure, ‘India reaches the final’ in the context of the resumption of matches after a rain delay.

Shahid Afridi said on a live talk show: “Shakib Al Hasan was also saying the same thing. And that too got to be seen on screen. You saw the ground… it was wet. But I think the inclination of the ICC is to take India to the semi-finals in some way or the other. And the umpire was also the same who was in the Pakistan match. He should also be provided with the award for the best umpire in the whole world.”

Shahid Afridi, who is a panelist on the show, responded to the claim by praising Liton. He scored 60 runs in 27 balls before being run out. After his dismissal, Bangladesh lost the plot as their next six wickets fell for 40 runs. Afridi, however, had nothing more to say about Liton.

Reaction to what the journalist had to say about ‘ICC’s inclination towards India’, he said “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.”

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