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Ian Callender (Belfast Telegraph)

The World Cup this summer in England promises to be a runs feast, so maybe it's just as well Ireland are not involved after their performances in the Tri-Series in Dublin.

A third defeat in three matches showed they cannot score enough runs and, as a result, the bowlers have no chance of defending the total. These days, 300 is barely a par score such is the dominance of bat over ball, and yesterday at Clontarf, with 'only 292' on the board – thanks to a record stand against a Full Member nation of 174 between Paul Stirling and William Porterfield - Bangladesh swept past it in the 43rd over with just four wickets down.

It was actually the highest ever chase in a one-day international at Castle Avenue, but once Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das had brought up the 100 partnership in the 15th over, the result was never in doubt and the body language in the field told the story.

Memories of the world record opening partnership by the West Indies on this ground 10 days earlier probably came flooding back, and although Boyd Rankin ended the stand just two overs later - he would later take his 200th wicket for Ireland - there was never any threat of a quick 1-2, never mind three, to put pressure on a Bangladesh side which rested four players ahead of tomorrow's final against the Windies at Malahide.

The bowlers - with Barry McCarthy replacing Tim Murtagh in the only change to the side - didn't help themselves, with far too many four balls (31) and wides (11), cruelly highlighting the lack of consistency in line and length; the Bangladesh batsmen just had to wait for the inevitable bad ball to keep well ahead of the required run rate.

In contrast, the Ireland batsmen were forced to rely on a succession of singles to keep the scoreboard ticking along - there were only six fours between the 15th and 40th overs - but Stirling, whose second 50 took 76 balls, took advantage of being dropped off successive balls to finished with his second highest ODI score and his first century since last year's World Cup Qualifiers.

In the same match in the tournament, against the UAE, William Porterfield hit 92; yesterday, batting again at No.4, he reached 94 - his first half century since - before he holed out to cover to end the third wicket stand which removed Kevin O'Brien and Alex Cusack's famous partnership against England in Bangalore from top spot in Ireland games against Full Members.

But Stirling took 23 off the next over, Mark Adair hit his second ball for six and Gary Wilson hit successive fours as Ireland charged to the finish.

Two wickets and only two runs was not the last over they wanted, but even another 50 runs wouldn't have been enough.

Photographs
Castle Avenue, Clontarf