DUBLIN: Riding on half-centuries by Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das and Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh last night cruised to a comfortable six-wicket win over Ireland, maintaining their unbeaten run in the tri-nation series, a tune-up event ahead of the World Cup starting on May 30 in England and Wales.
Chasing 293 runs for victory, the visitors looked at ease from the onset, courtesy an aggressive first-wicket stand between Tamim and Liton. Both the batsmen maintained a similar pace through the course of their 117-run stand before the southpaw was bowled by Boyd Rankin. Tamim’s fall, however, didn’t derail Bangladesh’s innings.
Less than six overs later, Liton also departed, getting cleaned up by Barry McCarthy on 76, a 67-ball knock including nine boundaries and a six. However, Ireland’s successes were far and few. Shakib Al Hasan, without being aggressive, stroked almost a run-a-ball fifty and put on a half-century partnership with Mushfiqur Rahim and kept Bangladesh’s hold on the chase.
He retired with a side strain soon after stroking his 41st ODI fifty but Mahmudullah’s unbeaten 35 helped Bangladesh cross the line with seven overs to spare. Barring Mark Adair, who dismissed Mossadek Hossain late in the chase, all the bowlers conceded more than run-a-ball.
Earlier in the day, Paul Stirling and William Porterfield’s century-stand had laid the foundation for Ireland’s 292 for eight. Electing to bat after winning the toss, the hosts had lost two wickets in the first 11 overs.
Stirling, who had adopted an aggressive mode at the start of Ireland’s innings slowed down. Along with his skipper, he laid the base for a strong finish, putting on 174 in 34 overs – Ireland’s highest for third wicket, and the highest for any wicket against a full ICC member nation.
Porterfield fell six short of a century as he mistimed a hit to the cow corner fielder, only two overs after depositing consecutive sixes off Mashrafe Mortaza.
His dismissal led to a collapse, as Ireland lost six wickets in the last 33 balls of their innings. Stirling’s fine knock of 130 – which included eight boundaries and four sixes – too came to an end in this period as he failed to hit the ball over the long on fielder.