Walton Cup Tri Nation Series Ireland Vs Bangladesh Ireland 181 All out in 46.3 Overs (EC Joyce 46, KJ O’Brien30, GH Dockrell 25, Mustafiz 4/ 23, Mashrafe 2/18 and Sanjamul 2/22) lost to Bangladesh 182/2 in 27.1 Overs (Soumya Sarkar 87*, Tamim Iqbal 47, Sabbir Rahman 30) by 8 wickets.
Man of The Match: Mustafizur Rahman
Rampaging tigers firing from all cylinders pulverized pathetic Irishmen to pulp in their backyard in the do or die match. A comprehensive 8 wickets victory with 137 of 300 balls to spare not only spared them from the possibility of lowering their position in ICC raking but also created opportunity of even winning the tri nation Walton Cup.
That is still possible if New Zealand somehow lose to Ireland or the match is rained out and Bangladesh beat the Kiwis in the last match. Put into bat on a double paced wicket, much slower than what it was in the first match on the same ground, Irish batsmen were found groping in the dark against high quality Bangladesh attack.
Mustafiz with his cutters and variations made the batsmen perspire for survival. Rubel Hossain with his pace and accuracy complemented well. Mashrafe maintaining his immaculate length and line hinted to tune up with condition. Sanjamul on debut impressed, Shakib and Mosaddek also kept it tight.
Ireland could not go beyond 181 in 46.3 overs which proved well below par. Bangladesh cantered home with Terrific Tamim, belligerent Soumya and sizzling Sabbir seizing the opportunity. Brilliant tigers reduced Irish bowlers to “Davids against Goliaths. “.
The teams appeared with one change each from the previous matches. Experienced veteran Ed Joyce played his first match for Ireland and Sanjamul replaced Mehedi Miraz in Tiger squad. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza won the toss and with his quality all round bowling attack opted to field. Ireland batting strength lies in top three – Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce and William Porterfield.
Mashrafe started with inform Rubel and his tramp card Mustafiz again looking dangerously deceptive. Bangladesh bowlers in the morning started showing the day. Mustafiz with the very third ball of his first over made Stirling defend uppish to Sabbir in the gully. A huge blow to Irish cause.
The sun also came out on a rare winter day. Rubel Hossain kept bowling fast and teasing two other experienced professionals Joyce and Porterfield. But Fizz could not control the swing and soon Mashrafe replaced him. He could strike early blow if Mosaddek Hossain did not floor a sitter in the cover of Porterfield off his cleverly concealed cutter. But he quickly amended removing him caught and bowled in the very next over.
Ireland were down 2/37 within the first power play. Joyce kept the struggle going but very little batting was left to encounter Bangladesh bowling finding their sweet touch. All slow bowlers Shakib, Mosaddek, Mahmudullah Riyad and Sanjamul kept it tight. Shakib cleaned out Balbirnie. The only partnership of substance was put up between Joyce and NJ O’Brien.
The 55 runs 4th wicket partnership was broken by when Sanjamul on his debut got the prized scalp of firmly rooted Joyce Mustafiz returning in his second spell removed O’Brien brothers with brilliant display of controlled pace bowling. Ireland with 6/134 in the 32nd over looked out of gas.
Mashrafe usually like such wicket. He bowled very accurately in his spells. He getting wickets was only a matter of time. He did getting the last two before Sanjamul getting his second wicket. Ireland was bundled out for a below par 181 in 46.3 overs. Mustafiz with 4/ 23 in his 9 overs appeared to have regained much of his mystery bowling.
Mashrafe got over his last match off color with controlled 6.3 quality overs taking 2/18. Sanjamul impressed on debut with his left arm orthodox taking 2/22. For Ireland only Joyce (46), Kevin O’Brien (30) and Dockrell (25) could put up some resistance Ireland required some early wickets to defend the below par score.
Cloud cover was still there. But Tamim and Soumya batted brilliantly playing lovely strokes all around the ground. Tamim was the aggressor early on. Soumya joined the party a bit latter. It was wonderful exhibition of aggressive stroke play. Pulls, flicks, cuts and drives were seen in plenty.
The partnership took the match away from the home side. 95 glittering runs were added before Tamim fell to the combination of O’Brien brothers for a well-made 47. All eyes were on Sabbir after his back to back failures in two earlier matches.
But with no pressure for scoring runs he took his time to settle. Once he had feel of the wicket he also started matching Soumya stroke for stroke. Runs started flowing like waterfall flooding the ground instead of coming from the sky. Soumya went on scoring his second half century.
Sabbir in efforts of getting over the rope lost his wicket once more. One stroke too many brought his downfall at 35 scored off 34 deliveries. Soumya remained not out on 87 of 68 deliveries comprising of 11 strikes across the fence and 2 over and across.
Two of these were his trademark “Periscope strokes.” Bangladesh won big by 8 wickets with 135 balls left. Fortunately, “Rain Rain Go away nursery rhyme “was listened. Bangladesh with 5 points from three matches would have to keep their fingers crossed about the outcome of Sundays match between New Zealand and Ireland.
An Irish win or even a rained out match would put them in excellent position for going all out for the top honor. We think on current form it is not difficult for Bangladesh to get across New Zealand. 20-25 runs in the earlier match against Kiwis could earn them that match.
Mashrafe was found limping a bit. But even in his current shape he was not a pedestrian. His spells were economic and delivered his job. The most fascinating part was Fizz coming on his own and Rubel bowling with genuine hostile pace.
Mosaddek should be bowled more. He has the potential for growing as a useful all-rounder. Nasir Hossain may not get an opportunity at least in the tri nation series.