Ireland v Bangladesh

DateFriday 16 July 2010.
VenueCivil Service North, Stormont
ResultBangladesh won by 6 wickets (D/L)
TypeRSA Series Match 2 of 2 (ODI)
SummaryIreland 189-9 Closed (Overs 46) GC Wilson 60 Shafiul Islam 4-59
Bangladesh 191-4 Closed (Overs 37.4) Tamim Iqbal 74
Report Jon Coates (Irish Daily Mail) reports
Hero to zero would be an exaggerated phrase in which to frame it, but William Porterfield’s majestic hundred felt like a lifetime ago last night as he reflected on the blunder that allowed Bangladesh a share of the RSA Series. Ireland had won the first one-day international by a wide margin and the reversal of fortunes was partly self-inflicted – Porterfield erred at the toss of the coin when he chose to bat first.

On a grey morning and with the wicket green, the players who had basked in the sun the previous evening looked deeply uncomfortable and Ireland slumped to 28 for three, never really grasping hold of the game thereafter. Gary Wilson’s robust 60 at No 7 was a fine way to retaliate, and a target of 190 to win in 46 overs might have tested another team, but the Tigers’ top cat Tamim Iqbal batted responsibly to make 74 and get his country home with six wickets and 50 balls to spare.

‘The difference was just the way we batted, with a few soft dismissals and a lack of application,’ insisted Porterfield. ‘We were always going to bat first today having seen how much the wicket turned late on yesterday. In hindsight it may have been a mistake, but either way we’ve got to be better than what we were.’

Porterfield’s mistake, which it was, did more than damage his own batting average - it restored Bangladeshi morale. The night before, they had left Stormont downhearted with their bowling attack blunted. Porterfield could have twisted the knife; instead he gave them the chance to get their tails up.

‘I was really surprised because we were thinking about bowling,’ said Tamim afterwards. ‘It was raining and it was not that sunny, so I was really surprised.’

Niall O’Brien and Andrew White were both dropped on zero, errors that cost Bangladesh 51 runs, but Ireland lost too many wickets at the start and end of the innings and 189-9 from 46 overs was 20 short of par. Conditions were poor upon the delayed start, but that could not excuse the shots Porterfield and Stirling played to get out, with minimal foot movement.

When Alex Cusack perished for a 12-ball duck and O’Brien nearly followed him, an early finish was feared. Wilson was the architect of the recovery, attacking the spinners who had been wreaking havoc and finding gaps brilliantly during the last Powerplay.

With Wilson and John Mooney motoring along, 40 runs came off those four overs but when the Surrey man was out, a mini-collapse left Boyd Rankin and George Dockrell to bat out the last two overs. Johnston’s sickness was an ailment he bravely overcame both days, but it affected his concentration and after he had Imrul Kayes caught at slip, the famous accuracy vanished and the Tigers began to tuck in.

Junaid Siddique scored 100 on Thursday and progressed serenely again until Kevin O’Brien came on and offered an immediate short ball that the left-hander guided lazily to deep square leg. That, however, was the last time Ireland were in the game as Tamim and Jariul Islam added 84 quick runs for the third wicket.

Like Wilson, they showed how to profit from spin and when Tamim started to make it look easy, lofting Stirling back over his head for six, the contest unravelled.

Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph) reports
Ireland are back in 11th place in the ODI rankings after they undid all their good work of the previous day with a below par performance in the second one-day international against Bangladesh at Stormont. William Porterfield, the Ireland captain, knew the Tigers would come back hard after their seven wickets defeat on Thursday but it was desperately disappointing that the home side had so few answers.

Having set the standard in the first game between the teams, it all went wrong from the start for Ireland with Porterfield admitting, with hindsight, it was “probably a mistake” to bat. He denied his decision was influenced by the absence from the ground at the toss of Trent Johnston, his experienced opening bowler who was at the doctor’s, but his hope that the pitch would take turn later in the day proved unfounded. Although Andrew White ended the match-winning third wicket stand of 84 and George Dockrell followed up with the wicket of Tamim Iqbal, for 74, the slow bowlers sent down almost 12 overs with figures of two for 64.

The pace bowlers hadn’t much more joy, with Johnston - playing against doctor’s orders, and O’Brien the only wicket-takers and even their 13 overs cost 71 runs. But it was virtually mission impossible for the bowlers trying to defend 190 in 46 overs, the game further reduced after a delayed start because of overnight rain. Before the first powerplay had finished, Ireland were 28 for three, exactly the same position Bangladesh were the day before but, unlike their visitors, the wickets continued to fall in the Ireland innings, with a series of culpable shots.

Niall O’Brien, one of three Ireland batsmen who were dropped before they had scored, was trapped in front by the slow left arm of Abdur Razzak, his brother Kevin then danced down the wicket and was stumped and when Andrew White played a nothing shot and was leg before, Ireland were 106 for six. At least they still had Gary Wilson, now playing as a specialist batsman at Surrey and John Mooney, Ireland’s in-form No 7 who averaged 66 at the World League in Holland last week. Mooney, with four fours and a six in his 28 played his part but it was Wilson who stood tallest with his third ODI half-century.

He hadn’t got past 51 previously but this time he reached 60 off 64 balls, with six boundaries from No 7 in this powerful Ireland batting line-up. Unfortunately both Mooney and Wilson departed in the space of eight balls and in between Johnston was also caught on the long-on boundary so, from being 168 for six with 26 balls left, they were 176 for nine and with only Boyd Rankin and Dockrell to face the last three overs. They managed 13, without being parted, but it would have been more like 43 with the established batsmen still in the middle. The extra runs probably would not have affected the result, though. as the Tigers swept home with more than eight overs to spare. Tamim admitted afterwards he was struggling for form at the start of his innings and while it affected his performance it could not have worked out better for his team. Instead of his usual gung-ho approach, which always gives the bowlers a chance, he was cautiously responsible and took 64 balls to bring up his 50 with only five fours and the solitary six of the innings. He has still to record a ‘not out’ in international cricket however but yesterday he was just 19 runs short of doing it when he skied one into the covers.

By then though the game was up for Ireland and now they must wait until their trip to Zimbabwe in October for their next tilt at a Full Member and another chance to impress on the world stage. .

Jon Coates (Irish Daily Mail), Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)

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