Bangladesh would have won against South Africa if the four overs, which came when Mahmudullah was wrongly distributed, had been counted. Image: Screenshot

Bangladesh suffered a narrow 4-run defeat against South Africa in the 2024 T20 World Cup on Monday as the Proteas successfully defended the lowest total in the tournament’s history. Bangladesh were restricted to 109/7 after 113, but the Bangla Tigers have every right to feel deprived of a victory. In the 17th over, a delivery from Ottneil Baartmann hit Mahmudullah’s pads and got four byes as South Africa called on LBW.

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Umpire Sam Nogajski agreed with the Proteas and dismissed Mahmudullah, however, the decision was reviewed by the Bangladesh batter and was overturned. But as Nogajski gave Mahmudullah away before the ball crossed the boundary, the four rest points were not counted.

Under ICC rules, a ball is considered dead the moment a batter is handed it by an umpire.

In Mahmudullah’s case, because Nogajski dropped him before the ball crossed the boundary, the points were not counted.

In the end, the difference between the two teams was four points and the rest points could have helped Bangladesh win the match.

That wasn’t the only controversial decision by the referees in the match, however. Even Towhid Hridoy’s lightweight decision raised a lot of eyebrows.

Hridoy was Bangladesh’s top scorer with 37 and was run out in the 18th over against Kagiso Rabada.

After Rabada picked up a ball to escape Hridoy’s stick and hit him on the pads, he made a half-hearted appeal with no fielder joining him, but umpire Richard Illingworth had no doubt dropping the batter with confidence.

Replays showed that the ball would have clipped the leg stump bail (umpire’s call on strike).

Hridoy even complained about not being able to qualify after Bangladesh’s defeat.

“To be honest, it wasn’t a good decision for us in such a close game. From my point of view, the referee gave it but it was quite hard for us. These four runs could have changed the scenario of the match,” Hridoy said after the match.

“The laws are not in my hands. At that time, these four races were really important. Referees can decide, they are human too and can make mistakes. They also didn’t give away wides, which were wides on a few occasions.

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