BAN vs IRE, One-off Test, Day 3 Review: Lorcan Tucker's solid century helps visitors take lead in Mirpur

Tucker’s 108 was also the second-highest Test score for Ireland.

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Bangladesh vs Ireland
Bangladesh vs Ireland. (Photo by MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

DHAKA: Lorcan Tucker scored a masterful century as Ireland piled on the runs to end day three with a lead of 131 runs over Bangladesh in Mirpur.

Having been staring down the barrel of an innings defeat on day two, Ireland’s middle-order were imperious as they batted out the day and finished on 286-8, having been 51-5 in the morning session. Harry Tector scored a second half-century of the match and Andy McBrine became the third Ireland batter to register a maiden Test half-century in the match as he ended the day on 71*. 

The records tumbled while Tucker was at the crease, first building an Ireland record fifth-wicket partnership with Tector before putting on 111 with McBrine - the second-highest partnership ever for Ireland in Tests.

Tucker’s 108 was also the second-highest Test score for Ireland. He joins Kevin O’Brien as the only two players to have scored Test centuries for Ireland. 

After a solid start to the day which saw PJ Moor and Tector see out the first 14 overs without the loss of a wicket, Shoriful Islam found the breakthrough for Bangladesh. A loose shot from Moor provided keeper Litton Das with a simple catch to deepen Ireland’s collapse from the night before. They still needed 104 to force Bangladesh to bat again.

From there onwards, however, Ireland dominated the day’s play. Tector continued to look as assured at the crease as he did on day one, punishing some wayward bowling from Shoriful to pick up consecutive boundaries towards the end of the morning session. Tucker joined in on the attack, hammering back-to-back fours off Edabot Hossain before the lunch break.

Tector reached his half-century with a thick outside edge off Khaled Ahmed just after the interval. He bettered his first innings score by six runs before he was pinned plumb in front by Taijul Islam. Despite opting for the review, ball tracking showed three reds to send him on his way and bring McBrine to the crease.

At that point, Tucker had reached 40 off 72 balls, both batters matching each other to attack the bowlers as the pitch deadened out. With Tector gone, Tucker took centre stage. He reached his maiden fifty off 82 balls before whacking a six over long-on off Mehidy Hasan Miraz two balls later.

The boundaries continued to flow - Tucker gave Ireland the lead with a four off Taijul before McBrine smashed a six back over the bowler’s head in the same over. 

Tucker ended the session on 88, tantalizingly close to a Test century but having turned the match on its head. 106 runs came in the 27 overs after lunch, with Ireland’s lead approaching fifty. Bangladesh were hampered by what was seemingly an injury to Shakib Al Hasan which prevented him from bowling for a large part of the day.

It took Tucker just three overs after the break to register his hundred, getting to the milestone with a cover drive to the boundary. The shot made him the first Ireland Test centurion in almost five years, O’Brien having scored the only other Ireland Test century against Pakistan in 2018.

The hundred partnership with McBrine came up in the same over, Tucker dancing down the wicket to hammer another boundary down the ground. He couldn’t go on to challenge O’Brien’s record, however, smashing a half-volley from Hossain straight to extra cover to end his innings for 108.

McBrine saw Ireland through to the close of play, despite the loss of Mark Adair late in the evening. He brought up his maiden Test fifty off a waist-high full toss from Shakib, which he steered to the fine-leg boundary for four. Along with Graham Hume, he plundered a string of boundaries as the day came to a close, finishing unbeaten on 71.

Ireland will resume tomorrow sensing an opportunity for a first Test match victory, Bangladesh still needing two wickets to end the Irish innings with the lead approaching 150.

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