By Amlan Chakraborty
New Delhi: Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan triggered a debate on the spirit of cricket before smashing a rapid 82 in their three-wicket victory against 1996 champions Sri Lanka, who were eliminated from the 50-over World Cup on Monday.
The all-rounder collaborated in a 169-run stand with Najmul Hossain Shanto (90) to help Bangladesh chase down a 280-run victory target in 41.1 overs.
Sri Lanka’s Angelo Mathews, right, talks to umpires after he was declared timed out during the World Cup match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.Credit: AP
Charith Asalanka’s 108 underpinned Sri Lanka’s 279 all out after they were put into bat by Shakib, who was in the eye of a storm on an eventful day.
It was Shakib’s appeal that led to former Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews becoming the first player to be “timed out” in an international match.
Nearly 20,000 spectators witnessed drama at the halfway stage of the Sri Lankan innings when Mathews walked out to bat after Sadeera Samarawickrama’s exit.
After the chinstrap of his helmet broke, Mathews waited for a new helmet to arrive before facing Shakib, but was adjudged “timed out” after failing to take strike within the stipulated two minutes.
Under the tournament’s playing conditions, a new batter should be ready to face the ball within two minutes, but Mathews was seen still waiting for teammate Chamika Karunaratne to run in with a new helmet.
Shakib was seen chatting with umpire Marais Erasmus before making an appeal and the batter was adjudged timed out.
Mathews remonstrated with the umpires for a while before leaving the pitch shaking his head in dismay and threw his helmet soon after crossing the boundary.
Bangladesh lost both openers inside seven overs but Shakib and Shanto put their chase back on track.
Mathews denied Shakib a hundred, and tapped his wrist in a send-off as if to tell the Bangladesh captain it was his time to go.
Shanto missed out on a hundred too but Sri Lanka still succumbed to their sixth defeat in eight matches.
Following the team’s poor performance in the tournament, the entire Sri Lankan board was sacked and replaced with an interim committee earlier on Monday.
Mathews’ dismissal dominated discussion afterwards and Asalanka said it “not good for the spirit of cricket”.
Former Bangladesh captain Athar Ali Khan echoed the same view while commentating on the match.
“I don’t like what I’m seeing, it is not good for the game. It’s against the spirit of the game, that’s how I feel about it,” he said.
“If something goes wrong with the helmet you should be allowed an extra couple of minutes to fix it.”
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja said it was the batter’s duty to be ready within the stipulated time.
“To a certain degree it is an onus on cricketers to learn the rules and understand the spirit of the rules,” Raja said.
“Most of us don’t, but the umpires were on top of the situation. It was a tough call to make.”
There have been at least half a dozen such cases in first-class cricket, the most recent being Zimbabwean Charles Kunje’s dismissal in a Logan Cup match in 2017.
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