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Match Report
Ian Callender

It was heartbreak for Ireland as they lost the second Twenty20 international against Bangladesh by the minimum margin, to go two down in the three-match series. A vastly improved performance with the ball restricted the Tigers to 145 for six and with four overs to go, Ireland were in pole position, needing only 30 to win with seven wickets standing, a target any top team would knock off with ease in the shortest form of the game.

Kevin O'Brien was stumped in the 17th over but Andrew Poynter, brought in for Niall O'Brien, took six off the last two balls to reduce the target to 23 off three. Enter Mahmudullah, the off spinner, into the attack and either side of Shakib al Hasan conceding nine runs he conceded just six singles in 11 balls and picked up the wickets of Poynter and, crucially, Ed Joyce.

Poynter holed out to long-on with Ireland needing eight off three balls and when Joyce could only find the long-off fielder next ball, the game was up for Ireland. Trent Johnston hit the last ball for six, just as he did on this ground against England three years ago. Once again it meant nothing.

Although the omission of the "struggling" O'Brien was tactical - allowing the in-form Gary Wilson to return to the No 4 slot where he enjoyed so much success in the World Twenty20 Qualifying tournament - Ireland had to make an enforced late change when Boyd Rankin failed a fitness test.

George Dockrell was his replacement but it was Max Sorenen who took the new ball and in an impressive opening spell with Johnston they conceded only 16 runs in four overs. It set the standard for the rest of the innings, only ruined by the last three overs when Bangladesh scored 40 with man of the match Nasir Hossein hitting 50 from 33 balls.

For the second successive match, Paul Stirling was involved in a run out and this time it was his captain who paid the price. A good stop in the covers left both batsmen stranded in mid-pitch, the fielder chose William Porterfield's end and he was comfortably short.

Joyce survived a confident leg before appeal third ball and went onto to score 41, off 44 balls. He hit only one boundary, content to nudge the ones and twos while Stirling and Wilson equally shared eight boundaries, the latter continuing his prolific form in 2012 with a classy 37.

His wicket should not have proved fatal, such is the depth of this Ireland batting line-up, but the difference proved to be the last three overs as Mahmadullah showed Alex Cusack and Sorensen how to bowl at the death.

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Stormont, Belfast