Chigumbura coy about Mahmudullah run-out reversal
During the post-match press conference, Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura giggled every time he was asked about the Mahmudullah run-out fiasco. He didn't look like someone who was looking forward to discussing the most controversial moment of a match, that his side lost by 61 runs and ended the series on the wrong end of a 3-0 sweep.
In the 45th over, Mahmudullah had tapped the ball into the covers searching for a single, but the non-striker Mashrafe Mortaza did not want it. Sikandar Raza exploited the miscommunication by nailing a direct hit and Aleem Dar, the square leg umpire, had seemed convinced that Mahmudullah was out. The problem though was that wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva, while rushing in to collect the throw, had disturbed the bails before the ball hit the target.
Mahmudullah, who had no idea of what had transpired, was already walking back which gave Chakabva the time he needed to uproot the stumps as well to try and make the run-out legal. But once the square leg umpire had made his decision, right or wrong, the ball was dead and anything that happened thereafter did not count. The third umpire was called in to lay the confusion to rest and as replays indicated the sequence of events, Mahmudullah was called back.
"At first we thought he was out," Chigumbura said at the post-match press conference. "And umpires made their decision. We have to follow their decisions."
But on the field, Chigumbura had protested the reversal and summoned his team in a huddle with the umpires and batsmen Mashrafe and Mahmudullah standing nearby, awaiting the start of the 46th over. After some convincing within the group, the Zimbabweans went back to their positions and the match went on.
When asked if he was about to lead the team out of the ground, he offered another laugh and said, "We were discussing about the last few overs."
Mashrafe was seen speaking to Chigumbura twice, and he later said that he was trying to convince his opposite number to play on, which he thought was the right thing to do.
"I don't know what they were talking about but all I was trying to tell him was to play the game with spirit," Mashrafe said. "I didn't really understand what they were thinking. The decision was up to them and they did the right thing by returning to the ground and playing."
Chigumbura said Zimbabwe had no option but to continue playing. Mahmudullah went on to add 20 more runs and Bangladesh gave Zimbabwe a target of 277 runs.
"We just had to carry on," Chigumbura said. "We had a job to do, chasing 277. Our batting group didn't turn up."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84