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Bangladesh captain Mahmud Ullah drops a catch in the wet at McLean Park.
Bangladesh cricket coach Russell Domingo took aim at match officials for the farcical delay in confirming their revised run chase, and for making his players field in persistent rain in Napier.
The frustrations of a tough tour boiled over for Domingo, the South African who couldn’t fathom Tuesday’s events as they lost the second Twenty20 international to the Black Caps by 28 runs. The hosts clinched the T20 series 2-0 with one to play, making it seven wins from as many home series in 2020-21.
Experienced match referee Jeff Crowe was first to cop it from Domingo as his openers Naim Sheikh and Litton Das went out to bat with no one at McLean Park knowing Bangladesh’s rain-adjusted winning target.
First 179 off 17 overs, then 148 off 16, then either 171 or 170 off 16 were posted on various platforms including the ground scoreboard, as Domingo demanded a please-explain from Crowe the highly respected official, and former New Zealand captain and manager.
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“I don’t think I’ve been involved in a game before when batters go out and don’t know what the Duckworth-Lewis target is. With a lot of rain around, nobody had an idea as to how many we’d need after five overs, six overs… I’ve never been involved in a game like that before,” Domingo said.
“I don’t think the game should have started until it was finalised and there was a clear indication as to what was required, what we needed at certain stages. I didn’t think that was good enough.”
Asked what explanation was given, Domingo said Crowe and other officials said they were waiting for the printouts of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern calculations.
“If you’re waiting for it, the game can’t start till you get it. What was explained now, was that they normally get [the printout] one or two balls into the innings but they were still waiting… and they couldn’t delay the game much longer because you’d run out of overs… very frustrating.”
Bangladesh ended 142-7 off 16 overs in a match that stretched past 11pm, more than four hours after it started.
Domingo also demanded answers from on-field umpires Chris Brown and Wayne Knights who let play continue through persistent rain. Play was halted at 7.55pm but they returned 25min later, as Glenn Phillips and Daryl Mitchell plundered late in the Black Caps’ total of 173-5 off 18 overs.
“I’ve never seen a team field for that long in that much rain. It was raining, the ball was wet and slippery… no excuses but it all seemed to stack against us this evening in terms of conditions,” Domingo said.
“I’ve never seen a game start while it’s raining again, while we came out for 4-5 overs. I don’t know if the rules have changed, but I was under the impression the covers don’t come off till the rain stops, and the first ball can’t get bowled until the rain stops. A very frustrating night for us all round.”
With a record of 0-31 against the Black Caps in New Zealand, Bangladesh have one more T20 in Auckland on Thursday to get off the mark, without star players Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal.
Said Domingo: “It’s a tough place and New Zealand are playing great cricket. Our record here is not great. We’ve shown glimpses of what we can do but we’ve not been consistent enough.”
Man of the match Phillips, who cracked 58 not out then took 1-20 off three overs of offspin, said the Bangladesh target confusion was quickly resolved.
“We weren’t exactly sure what was going on, but when we heard there was a mix-up with the scores, Jeff [Crowe] went over and apologised to both teams and made sure it was all spick and span before we carried on the game. In the end both teams knew exactly what they were going for.”