Bangladesh faced off an underrated Ireland in a low scoring match at their home ground in Mirpur. Bangladesh chose to bat after winning the toss. It was another show piece by two minnows which gave some excitement to the tepid world cup fever. Bangladesh rattled Ireland by 27 runs bowling Ireland out for 178 in a reply to Bangladesh’s 205 all out in the final over of the first innings. Tamim Iqbal earned man of the match award for his better than run a ball 43 in a low scoring encounter.
After scoring 70 against India at a contrasting strike rate to the asking rate, Tamim Iqbal came back to his fearless ways of dominating the bowling upfront and creamed the Irish bowlers to all sides of the park. Imrun Kayes was expertly stumped on the leg side by Niall O’Brien and became the first to depart as a victim to Mooney, who kept a steady line and length while giving away just 25 of his 7 overs. Bangladesh took 67 runs in their first power play but quick tumbling of wickets put breaks on the scoring and they could manage only 19 runs in the next five. Raqibul Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim shared the highest stand of the innings of 61 runs which gave Bangladeshi bowlers to have something to bowl at as they were reduced to 205 all out on the second ball of the last over of their innings. Andre Botha was pick of the bowlers as he claimed 3 wickets for 32 in his 9 overs at an economical rate. The teenager Dockrell showed good promise and kept the slow pace and made it difficult for the Bangladeshi batsmen to hit him away as they could only manage 23 of his 10 overs with two scalps to his name.
The Irish captain, William Poterfield had a confident start alongside Paul Stirling who could only be his companion till the 6th over as he was stumped by Rahim of the bowling of wily Razzak. Poterfield was next to depart of Shakib al Hasan’s bowling as he tried to flick him through mid wicket and handing a simple catch in the process. Bangladeshi crowd was dancing in the aisle as Ashraful, unsuccessful with the bat, dashed out a caught and bowled from Ed Joyce. Irish hopes were still on the younger of O’Brien brothers, who was their saviour in their famous win against Pakistan in the 2007 world cup. As Ashraful uprooted the stumps of Andrew White, Irish were stunned by Shakib al Hasan snatching the heavily priced wicket of Niall O’Brien. Ireland were in a slump but the elder O’Brien showed courage as he guided them to 151 before holding out for an individual score of 37 of 40 deliveries including the one and only maximum of the match. The last hope for Ireland kneeled with the wicket of Andre Botha of slinging Shafiul Islam, who was reversing and skidding the cricket ball. Shafiul changed the game on his head and took four important wickets and became the hero for Bangladeshi supporters.
Bangladesh now needs to work on their batting and raise the bar as they did against India. They now meet West Indies and will be demystifying quite a few sceptics about the fourth berth, to the quarter-final, in Group B.
BAN 205 all out (49.2)
IRE 178 all out (45)
MOM Tamim Iqbal
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