DUBLIN: Mashrafe Mortaza was a satisfied captain after Bangladesh swept aside Ireland to win their first match in the ODI tri-Series.
A much-improved bowling performance, after Mortaza won the toss, put the Tigers in control and they knocked off the 182 runs required for victory inside 28 overs, for the loss of just two wickets, with Soumya Sarkar finishing 87 not out from 68 balls with 11 fours and two sixes.
“We didn’t take early wickets in the last match but this time the bowlers did a really good job and that’s something we are looking for all the time,” said Mortaza. “Winning the toss was crucial as there was some moisture and both fast bowlers used it well.”
Mustafizur Rahman took the wicket of the dangerous Paul Stirling with his third ball, and although Rubel Hossain did not take a wicket his pace and movement consistently troubled the Ireland batsmen.
The introduction of Mosaddek Hossain accounted for Ireland captain William Porterfield and when Shakib also struck in his second over, Ireland were 61-3.
Ed Joyce, playing his first match of the series, and Niall O’Brien, who scored a century against New Zealand in their previous match, led a recovery of sorts.
However, Mustafizur returned to have O’Brien caught at third man, inches inside the boundary, and when Joyce followed in the next over, the first international wicket for debutant slow left armer Sunzamul Islam, Ireland were back in trouble at 126-5.
Mustafizur added the wickets of Kevin O’Brien and Gary Wilson to finish an impressive 4-23.
“Early wickets always put pressure on a team but Tamim Iqbal and Soumya batted really well and scored at seven an over for the first 10 overs which was important for us,” added Mortaza.
That partnership was ended at 95 but another stand of 76 between Soumya and Sabbir Rahman eased Bangladesh towards the finishing line and gives Mortaza hope that they can be more competitive in the final game against New Zealand on Wednesday.
“We’re looking looking forward to it, we had a chance in the last match but didn’t go through with it, but if we play as well as we did today there is a chance to win the game,” he added.
The next match in the series is on Sunday with Ireland’s final game against New Zealand and Joyce is looking for a big finish from the hosts.
“New Zealand had a very good win against Bangladesh,” said Joyce. “But if we bat the way we have done in the last three games without giving silly wickets away like we did today we can put up a decent total, and then the bowlers are capable of putting up a good performance like they did in the first two games. But they weren’t so good today.”
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