BAN vs IRE Match Review: Bangladesh clinch victory from jaws of defeat to complete series whitewash
After rain washed out the first game, Bangladesh clinched the remaining two games to complete series win.
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Despite half-centuries from Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie and Lorcan Tucker, along with a four-wicket haul from Mark Adair, Ireland Men fell agonisingly four runs short as Bangladesh prevailed in a topsy-turvy series finale at Chelmsford. A Mustafizur Rahman death bowling masterclass stopped Ireland in their tracks just as they looked to have a chase of 275 under their control.
On a gloomy morning at Chelmsford, Balbirnie won the toss and chose to bowl first. Ireland’s new ball pair of Josh Little and Adair were threatening from the outset. Adair had a close lbw shout off Rony Tadulkar turned down off his sixth ball shortly before Little, who took a little longer than Adair to find his radar, extracted an edge from the bat of Tamim Iqbal only to see Balbirnie shell the chance at slip.
Adair deservedly made an early breakthrough in his second over after Tadulkar nicked an attempted expansive heave through to Tucker behind the stumps. Little created chances at the other end but with little reward, with Bangladesh number three Najmul Hossain Shanto twice edging Little to the boundary in his first seven balls at the crease.
The diminutive left-hander soon found his rhythm, strumming elegant boundaries off both of Ireland’s opening bowlers. Shanto raced to 35 off 31 deliveries before he was dismissed by Craig Young – returning to the Ireland side in place of Graham Hume – courtesy of a smart catch by Balbirnie at second slip.
Tamim and Litton Das continued to score briskly despite the Bangladesh captain being unusually starved of the strike, facing just 28 balls in the first 16 overs of the match. At that point, Bangladesh were 98-2 and on course for a score in excess of 300.
Their momentum was halted somewhat by the off-spin of Andy McBrine. Despite Das hitting him for six over long-on early in his spell, McBrine was able to offer control conceding just 16 runs from his opening four overs. He was rewarded with the wicket of the dangerous Das who was caught by Adair at mid-off.
Tamim passed 50 but Bangladesh’s scoring rate had started to slow down. Towhid Hridoy came and went, falling to the final delivery of George Dockrell’s first over to bring the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim into the game. Ireland continued to make inroads at regular intervals; Tamim was Dockrell’s second victim, falling for 69, and while Rahim and Mehidy Hasan Miraz put on a fifty-run partnership for the sixth wicket, it wasn’t at a hurtling pace.
At 255-5 after 45 overs, Bangladesh once more briefly threatened to post a total in the region of 300 but McBrine, and in particular Adair put paid to that idea, ensuring that Bangladesh were bowled out for 274 with seven balls of the innings remaining. Adair finished with figures of 4-40; it was the third time that he’d taken a four-wicket haul for Ireland in ODI cricket.
The Ireland chase started slowly. There was no boundary in the opening four overs as Hasan Mahmud and Mustafizur Rahman both started well with the ball. Stephen Doheny fell to Rahman for five, edging one through to Litton Das at second slip off a ball that just angled away from him. Balbirnie and Stirling quietly picked up the scoring, always keeping the required run rate within reach.
Stirling unleashed a succession of brutal hits that raced away to the fence while Balbirnie ticked the score along at a more than decent rate. Both batters passed fifty as they shared their seventh century partnership in ODI cricket, breaking the Irish record for the most 100-run stands in the format previously held by Stirling and William Porterfield.
Unfortunately for Ireland, like with Tamim earlier in the contest, both Stirling and Balbirnie fell shortly after reaching their landmarks leaving Harry Tector, fresh from scoring a career-best 140 on Friday, and Lorcan Tucker to take over the mantle.
Tector’s intent was on display for all to see earlier in his innings, taking the attack to Mehidy by hitting him for six over extra cover after the Bangladesh off-spinner had conceded his runs at less than three per over up until that point.
With 14 overs to go, Ireland still had seven wickets remaining, but the asking rate had climbed to above seven runs per over. Tector and Tucker then went up another gear, taking 21 runs off Mrittunjoy Chowdhury’s seventh over and then after seeing through another quiet over from Mehidy, another 11 runs from Ebadot Hossain’s first over back into the attack.
62 runs were needed from the final 10 with the set pair of Tucker and Tector at the crease. Tector’s second six, a mighty blow off a slower delivery from Ebadot, took the asking rate below a run a ball with nine overs remaining – Ireland were in control of the contest.
The game’s momentum then swung once more after Tamim made the inspired decision to introduce Shanto, a man who had previously never taken a wicket in international cricket, into the attack at the business end of the run chase. Shanto removed Tector for 45 with his fifth delivery thanks to an excellent catch from Das in the deep.
The loss of Tector was then compounded by Rahman’s dismissal of Curtis Campher the following over, this time Tamim taking a composed high catch. Rahman continued to demonstrate his death bowling prowess removing Dockrell and then Tucker for exactly fifty to suck all the momentum out of the Ireland run chase. He finished with figures of 10-1-44-4 as Ireland ultimately fell four runs short, with runs hard to come by towards the end of their innings, in a not dissimilar manner to Bangladesh’s earlier in the day, despite some lusty blows from Adair that took the contest to its final over. Defeat for Ireland means that Bangladesh take the series 2-0, but despite losing the series, the performance by Ireland in this series was much improved from when in Bangladesh earlier in the year.
Next up for Ireland is a three-day game back in Essex at the end of the month before a trip to Lord’s to face England in June.
Ireland v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, County Ground, Chelmsford, 14 May 2023
Bangladesh 274 (48.5 overs; Tamim Iqbal 69; Mark Adair 4-40)
Ireland 270-9 (50 overs; Paul Stirling 60, Andy Balbirnie 53, Lorcan Tucker 50; Mustafizur Rahman 4-44)
Bangladesh won by four runs