Afridi bemoans 'poor decision' from umpire
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has insisted that he was hard done by the umpires, and though he refused to place the blame for his team's seven-wicket defeat to Bangladesh entirely on his controversial dismissal in the 11th over, he felt even one wrong decision could have a massive bearing on a game.
The incident occurred at a time when Pakistan, having been held back by a 31-ball 17 from Ahmed Shehzad, were crawling at 64 for 1, and in need of a late surge.
Afridi, having promoted himself up to No.3, had faced nine balls and scored 12, including a six behind square leg, when umpire Anisur Rahman gave him out caught behind off Mustafizur Rahman, though replays suggested the bat was nowhere close to the ball. Afridi immediately signaled for a review, only to be told that no referrals were available for the game. Pakistan made no formal complaint to the ICC, but Afridi said the officials had taken notice of the erroneous call.
"That was not out in my point of view," Afridi said."Mistakes do happen as we are human beings but these days games can be changed with one single poor decision and may be a different story. But the ICC is there and they are monitoring and evaluating the umpiring. It's not just one decision, there are another two and three, but the match referee is there and it's in their notice."
While Pakistan fans might feel that Afridi could have very well managed a 2014 Asian Cup encore and turned the match around had he stayed for a few more overs, Bangladesh's captain Mashrafe Mortaza shared a different view.
"It has always been like this, that when Shahid Afridi bats for 10 overs, the whole match changes," Mashrafe said. "But Mustafizur was bowling outstandingly for a debutant. We wanted to use our newcomer when Afridi was at the crease. We were successful in our plan. We knew he would try to hit the youngster. But Mustafizur bowled a beauty to him and we were lucky to get Afridi's wicket so easily.
"If he (Afridi) has said that he was not out, I don't think we can stop talking about this issue. It is better to take the umpire's decision. I have always respected the umpire's decision. They are also humans who make mistakes. It is better to say certain things off the record. If he is complaining, the ICC will deal with it. We have nothing to say about it."
Pakistan, though, on their part had already fallen behind in the game much before Afridi's dismissal, mainly due to Shehzad's slow knock, which sucked out what little momentum the visitors had. Shehzad played out 21 dot balls in his innings, meaning that Pakistan could only score 29 in the first five overs, and 24 in the next five.
"We didn't get a good start as their bowlers bowled so well, especially with the new bowler who bowled with variation and exploited the pitch condition," Afridi said.
"I have always said that partnerships are very important and we didn't capitalise, but still, another 10 to 15 runs on this pitch and the total isn't that bad. Had the bowlers bowled in the right areas and with variation, we wouldn't have gone down that easily."
The defeat also meant that Pakistan are now without a win in Bangladesh from four games, across two formats, having already been whitewashed 3-0 in the ODIs. Did Afridi feel luck had deserted the visitors throughout the tour?
"You can't (always) leave your luck on. If it's on, it's on, otherwise you can't do anything but make your fortune yourself," he said. "There are mistakes, which have to be dealt with, and we must move towards the betterment. There is no need to be disappointed as there are good times and bad times in everybody's lives. We are assessing a lot of things and you will see that things will improve. I am very positive that the players are here to stay and going nowhere as they are our future stars."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson