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Match Report
Ian Callender

Ireland's batsmen froze in the heat of Mirpur as Bangladesh got their World Cup campaign back on track with a 27 runs victory. It was the match that neither side could afford to lose - Bangladesh after losing their opening match against India and Ireland because they will now probably have to be beat both England and the West Indies to have any chance of reaching the quarter finals.

Even though Ireland's opening bowlers conceded half of their side's 205 runs in just a third of the overs, a target of 206 in 50 overs should have been a formality for this powerful batting line up. But, one after one, they made a start and then, carelessly, found a fielder when they should have been going on to play the match winning innings.

The Tigers, roared on by a capacity 26,000 crowd, did not need asking twice. But it wasn't the trial by spin which Ireland failed, rather it was 21 year old opening bowler Shafiul Islam, playing only his 25th one-day international and second World Cup match who finished them off. Shafiul, in his second comeback over, took the wicket of big-hitting Kevin O'Brien for 37 - the Railway Union all-rounder hit the only six of the day - followed it up by wrecking the stumps of Andre Botha and, just to make sure Ireland could not cause them any late problems, trapped Trent Johnston plumb in front.

Fittingly, Shafiul also took the wicket of last man Boyd Rankin, to finish with figures of four for 21, the best by a Bangladesh bowler in the World Cup, and send the crowd into raptures. Ireland captain William Porterfield didn't know what had hit him as he admitted in the post-match Press conference. "We would have snapped your hand off if given 206 to chase at the start of the match (after losing the toss) but we kept losing wickets and you can't afford to do that at any level, let alone in the World Cup finals," he said. "It's as frustrated as I have been in a while. We have let ourselves down which is a disappointment because our batting has been going well in the warm-up games. But we have to leave this performance behind us and come back strong in the rest of the tournament because we know that's what we can do."

Apart from Rankin (nine overs for 62) the bowling, as Porterfield claimed, "should not be questioned". Johnston picked up the last two wickets to make his eight overs more respectable but John Mooney, Botha, the most successful with three for 32 and 18 year old George Dockrell, two for 23 in his first World Cup match, should all have been rewarded with a win. Instead, the batsmen let them down. Paul Stirling was stumped, Porterfield tamely found short mid-wicket and when Ed Joyce, in his first match back in Ireland colours, was beaten by the spin of Mohammad Ashraful, Ireland were 75 for three.

Still, there shouldn't have been panic and although Andrew White struggled against the spin, Niall O'Brien was looking a million dollars. Having scored 38 with contemptuous ease, he picked out the fielder at deep mid-wicket and his disgust as he left the pitch was there for all to see. It appeared as if Ireland's luck was in when Botha survived a TV review when the ball appeared to be hitting leg stump but two overs later Mooney played on and when Botha followed just three balls later the game was up for an Ireland side who are now in a "must-win' situation when they meet England in their second match in Group B.

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