Bangladesh tuned up for the tri-series in Ireland with a massive 119-run win against Ireland A, thanks to a solid batting display complemented by an all-round bowling effort, at the Stormont Cricket Ground in Belfast yesterday.
The Tigers, having won the toss, subjected the home side to a flurry of strokeplay and eventually piled up a mammoth 394 for seven. It was the highest total conceded by the second-string Ireland side. The Bangladesh bowlers then followed the footsteps of the batsmen as all the six bowlers used chipped in with a wicket or two to stifle the run chase.
The hosts had raced on to 50 for no loss in 10 overs before Rubel Hossain’s double strike thwarted the chase. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman got two wickets each as well while Shubhashish Roy and Soumya Sarkar chipped in with a wicket each.
Earlier, one-down batsman Sabbir Rahman hammered a sublime 100 off 86 balls before retiring out in an attempt to allow the other batsmen to have some much-needed batting practice ahead of their first ODI against the hosts on Sunday.
Sabbir struck 16 fours and a six in his typically flamboyant innings. It was his first century in an international 50-over game since his magnificent unbeaten century against Pakistan in a practice game in Fatullah two years ago.
While Sabbir hit the three-figure mark, opener Tamim Iqbal missed it for 14 runs. The left-hander struck an equally impressive 86 off 74 balls that contained 14 boundaries and a couple of sixes. Fellow opener Soumya however missed out on the run-fest when he was caught at point after scoring 17 in an opening stand of 44.
Bangladesh started cautiously, scoring 49 runs off the first 10 overs. But a second-wicket stand of 103 in just 13.4 overs between Tamim and Sabbir provided the launchpad for Bangladesh to attempt to reach that elusive 400-run mark.
Shakib, who is set to lead the Tigers in the first ODI against Ireland on Sunday in the absence of the suspended Mashrafe, wielded his willow for a 27-ball 44 that contained five fours and two sixes. Coming in to bat at number five ahead of Mushfiqur Rahim, young Mosaddek Hossain chipped in with 31.
But it was Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah Riyad who provided the finishing touches with a 48-ball 91-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Mushfiqur struck a 24-ball 41 with the help of four fours and two sixes while Mahmudullah hammered 49 off 31 balls, laced with eight fours and a six. Only Andy McBrine and Craig Young have ODI experience among the home bowlers. McBrine was dropped from Ireland’s tri-series squad, but took two for 69 yesterday.
SCORES IN BRIEF
BANGLADESH: 394 for 7 in 50 overs (Tamim 86, Soumya 17, Sabbir Rahman 100 rtd out, Shakib 44, Mosaddek 31, Mushfiqur 41, Mahmudullah 49;McBrine 2-69, Getkate 3-60)
IRELAND A: 195 all out in 41.2 overs (Tector 60, Shannon 31; Mashrafe 2-31, Mustafizur 2-17, Shakib 2-32, Rubel 2-35)
Result: Bangladesh won by 199 runs
Source: Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh