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Tigers make easy work of Ireland to go 1-0 up

Staff Correspondent
19 Mar 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 19 Mar 2023 00:09:30
Tigers make easy work of Ireland to go 1-0 up
Bangladesh’s Taskin Ahmed (C) celebrates the dismissal of Ireland’s captain Andy Balbirnie (not pictured) during their first ODI against Ireland in Sylhet on Saturday– AFP Photo

Bangladesh registered their biggest-ever win in terms of runs on Saturday as they thrashed Ireland by 183 runs in the first One-Day International of their three-match series in Sylhet to go 1-0 up.

Their previous biggest win was by 169 runs against Zimbabwe on the same ground in 2020.

The Tigers did not give an inch to the Irish as batting first they piled up 338-8, their highest-ever total in ODIs, courtesy of Shakib Al Hasan and Towhid Hridoy in the middle, who scored 93 and 92 respectively, missing out on well-deserved hundreds, and then a quickfire cameo from Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored 44 runs off just 26 balls.

In reply, Ebadot Hossain broke the back of the Irish batting order with his pace as he picked up four wickets on his home ground, and with Nasum Ahmed’s three wickets and Taskin Ahmed’s two, he ensured that Ireland were bowled out for only 155.

“We batted exceptionally. Wasn’t the best wicket to bat in our first 20 overs. Shakib was brilliant. Mushfiq’s innings made the difference, shoutout to him. Very pleased with the way we bowled under lights as it was not the easiest wicket to bowl on,” Bangladesh skipper Tamim Iqbal said after the match.

Towhid, who missed out on a debut century, was adjudged the Player of the Match. “Missing the hundred hurts a bit but I am happy to have gotten a great start. I felt good. Shakib bhai gave me a lot of confidence. I just tried to execute my plan,” he said.

Ireland skipper Andrew Balbirnie said they believed they were in the game despite Bangladesh’s mammoth total.

“At the halfway stage, we weren’t too disappointed. The wicket was the best to bat on when we started but those 4-5 wickets cost us. We will get another chance on Monday. We want to compete but do better than we did today, especially with the bat,” the Irish captain said.

Bangladesh were put into bat first after losing the toss and they lost Tamim (3) in the third over as he was caught at slip chasing a wide one.

Liton Das (26) looked in touch but was removed within the powerplay by Curtis Campher, and the in-form Najmul Hossain Shanto (25) was sent back by a brilliant arm-ball from Andy McBrine, leaving the Tigers at 81-3.

However, from there on, Shakib and Towhid forged a 135-run stand to rebuild and then accelerate, meaning when the former was out edging one behind, the Tigers had a solid base to build on.

Mushfiq’s brilliant cameo led the way from there but both he and Towhid missed out on milestones as both were sent back by Graham Hume, who had also dismissed Shakib.

Small cameos from Yasir Ali Chowdhury (17), Taskin (11), and Nasum (11) then took Bangladesh to 338-8, their highest-ever total in ODIs.

In reply, Ireland were off to a good start as Paul Stirling (22) and Stephen Doheny (34) added 60 runs in 68 balls before Shakib got rid of the latter as he edged one behind to Mushfiq.

That opened the door for the Tigers as Ebadot Hossain struck in consecutive overs to get rid of Stirling and Harry Tector (3), with both giving catches to Mushfiq, among which Stirling’s catch was a fantastic diving one.

In the next over, Taskin rattled Balbirnie’s (5) stumps before getting Lorcan Tucker (6). Nasum Ahmed then picked up three wickets in quick time as he got rid of Curtis Campher (16), Gareth Delany (1), and McBrine (0).

George Dockrell fought a lone battle as he top-scored with 45 and his wicket was the last one as Ebadot wrecked his poles after getting rid of Mark Adair (13).

Mushfiq ended the match with five dismissals, equalling his record for Bangladesh.