The Bangladesh cricket team face a technically meaningless but nonetheless all-important game when they face New Zealand in a match that will stream live Saturday. The Tigers will battle to salvage their pride after a bitterly disappointing T20 World Cup campaign that saw Bangladesh eliminated in the most gut-wrenching fashion imaginable when they lost a heartbreaker to India on Wednesday.
As for New Zealand, the Black Caps at 3-0 have been the surprise team of the T20 Cricket World Cup and have already clinched their place in the semifinals, but will be playing to maintain their spotless, undefeated record in the competition.
So the match which would otherwise be known as a “dead rubber,” a game with no significance for either team, will actually be laden with meaning for both Bangladesh and New Zealand.
Bangladesh on Wednesday appeared to have the better of what had been an engrossing, back-and-forth thriller, needing just two runs off the final three balls to hit the required target of 147 which would have won the match for the Tigers and kept their hopes for advancement very much alive.
Instead, India pacer Hardik Pandya took two straight wickets, aided by reckless batting first from Mushfiqur Rahim who swung wildly for the boundary, apparently hoping to end on a six when even a single would have at least insured a super-over. Instead, Mushfiqur was caught out by Shikhar Dhawan at mid-wicket.
And then, unbelievably, the normally reliable Mohammad Mahmudullah committed the very same sin on the next ball, this time with Ravindar Jadeja taking the catch.
But Bangladesh still needed only a single on the final ball to keep the match going, two off one to win. But on a swing and miss by Shuvagata Hom, non-strike batsman Mustafizur Rahman was forced to dash for the opposite end in an attempt to score that single, all-important run.
Unfortunately, Mustafizur had 20 yards to cover while India Captain and wicket keeper M.S. Dhoni had just 15, to complete the run-out and crush the Bangladesh spirits.
Watch highlights of the bitter Bangladesh loss to India in the video below.
Fans in the United States will need to get up early — or stay up late — to watch the live stream, which will start at 5:30 a.m. Eastern Time, 2:30 a.m. Pacific.
Bangladesh has never defeated New Zealand in a T20 international match, but Bangladesh Captain Mashrafe Mortaza says that finding a way to get this win over the Black Caps is crucial after the heartbreak against India and the pain of going winless in the Super 10 stage of the tournament so far.
— Express Sports (@IExpressSports) March 25, 2016
“The whole team is in a state of sorrow, everyone is broken. Nobody is blaming anyone but we’ve somehow accepted the defeat. Everyone was very upset. They just could not talk to each other. It was so disappointing,” Mortaza said Friday.
“Even if we say sorry it’s not going to be enough. We just have to think positive that we still have a match left, we have to play hard, and try to win,” the captain said.
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Star Sports will carry a live stream of the “dead rubber” match at this link. But the most reliable way to watch the Bangladesh vs. New Zealand T20 Cricket World Cup Super 10 final match for both teams, via live stream in the United States, is through Willow TV, which is available via this YouTube link. Fans can also use The Willow app for mobile devices or on Willow TV’s own site, accessible by clicking here with a monthly subscription fee.
There are legal ways to watch Willow TV for free. Certain promotional offers make it possible to watch the all-cricket network, including Saturday’s Bangladesh vs. New Zealand T20 Cricket World Cup Super 10 final match, such as the offer at this link. The best bet would be the one-month free trial of Sling TV’s International Sports Package, which includes Willow. Information on that deal can be found at this link. The India-based site CricHD will also carry a stream at this link.
[Featured Photo By Ross Setford / Associated Press]