Bangladesh earned a degree of revenge for last year's World Cup defeat with a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Ireland in the first of 3 One Day Internationals in Dhaka yesterday. There was a fair sprinkling of relief mixed in for the home side in winning their first ODI in 14 attempts, stretching back to the victory over South Africa at the Super Eights stage in the Caribbean.
An unbeaten 90 from opener Shariar Nafees and 64 not out from under-fire skipper Mohammad Ashraful helped Bangladesh home with 10 overs to spare after Ireland toiled to 185 for seven from their 50 overs.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons handed a debut to North County's Reinhardt Strydom and he joined William Porterfield to open the batting after skipper Trent Johnston had won the toss. Porterfield, who top-scored with 85 against Bangladesh at the World Cup, was first to go, caught behind by Dhiman Ghosh for one off Man-of-the-Match Mashrafe Mortaza. Strydom perished in the same fashion, leaving Ireland struggling on 18-2 in the 11th over. Niall O'Brien signalled his intent with a boundary from his second delivery, followed soon after by a six off Mahmudullah as he and Eoin Morgan upped the pace. But the bowler gained his revenge when O'Brien drove straight to Farhad Reza at cover after making 15. After scoring 300 runs on the tour so far much depended on Morgan to build on his promising start. The Middlesex left-hander looked well set when he played all over a yorker from Reza on 35 leaving Ireland on 81-4 in the 31st over.
The rest of the middle order also got starts but Kevin O'Brien, 20, and Andre Botha, 22, also failed to push on as Ireland slumped to 115-6 in the 35th over. A seventh-wicket stand of 65 between Johnston, 31 not out, and Alex Cusack, 38, put a more respectable look on things, but Ireland never threatened to get past the 200 mark that would have given their bowlers some encouragement.
David Langford-Smith picked up the wicket of opener Tamim Iqbal four at 13, while Johnston celebrated a personal milestone claiming his 100th international wicket when Aftab Ahmed drove straight to Strydom. The Irish bowlers toiled away in the 90-degree heat but failed to make another breakthrough as Nafees and Ashraful put on an unbroken 130 to wrap up the game.
Johnston admitted afterwards that the extreme heat and humidity had affected his side. "They were some of the toughest conditions we have ever played in and the bowlers all struggled, especially with the humidity," said Johnston. "It was a good effort to get to 185 considering we struggled to get any momentum after a slow start. The low bounce and their four spinners caused us problems" he added.
- Mortaza dismisses Porterfield
- Bangladesh fast bowler Mashrafe Bin Mortaza sends down a delivery.
- Skipper Mohammad Ashraful, who played a composed innings of 64 not out, drives.
- Bangladesh opener Shahriar Nafees follows through on a cut. Nafees remained unbeaten on 90 as the Tigers chased down the target of 186 in 39.5 overs.