Tiger Jet Cruising Emphatically Towards World Cup Horizon

Tri Nation ODI Series

Bangladesh Vs Ireland Played at Dublin of 15 May 2019

Bangladesh 294/5 in 43 Overs ( Liton K Das 76 , Tamim Iqbal 57 , Shakib Al Hasan 50 retired out , Mushfiqur Rahim 35, Mahmudullah Riyad 35* ) beat Ireland 292/9 ( PR Stirling 130, WTS Porterfield 94 , Abu Jayed 5/58 , Saifuddin 2/43) by 5 Wickets

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Man of the Match: Abu Jayed

Bangladesh's Abu Jayed Rahi bowls during the Tri-Nation Series

True tigers are at full strength, hosts Ireland can not match, neither a second string West Indies team can be peer still all guns firing team tigers looks rampant as they reach the final of tri nation ODI series.

Yesterday in a match of academic interest Bangladesh resting four of their regular team members and trying their bench strength still overwhelmed a challenging Ireland score of 292/8 with supreme ease and comfort. Bangladesh got across the rope scoring 294/4 in 43 overs.

In doing so Bangladesh reached yet another final of a tri nation series with the prospect of winning it for the first time. In recent years Bangladesh let the slip out of their grasp through heart breaking narrow defeats. Bangladesh plays West Indies in the final whom they have already beaten twice comfortably in two encounters.

The only concern of yesterdays match was ace all-rounder Shakib retiring out after scoring yet another half century. He was on the threshold of becoming the quickest achieving rare double of 250 wickets and 5000 runs in ODI.

Rather he was blasted for 23 runs in one over and had to contain with most expensive spell of 0/65 in his 9 overs. Hope he recovers on time from suspected side strain for the final.

With a date in the final with West Indies already ensured Tigers rested Soumya, Mithun. Mehedi and Mustafiz bringing in Liton, Mosaddek, Saifuddin and Rubel. All of them are in ICC 15 member’s squad.

Possibly team think tank lost an opportunity to have AA look at match fitness of Taskin and capability of Farhad Reza. We are not also sure why Naeem and Yasir are also travelling with the team if not tested. Mashrafe could also rest on the day.

Liton with a brilliant innings justified his inclusion, Jayed impressed with a rare 5 wickets haul, Tamim, Mushfiqur, Shakib and Mahmudullah all remained consistent. Mosaddek and Saifuddin also bowled well. Mashrafe and Shakib are not death over bowlers.

Especially when Rubel and Saifuddin are more effective at that stage. Bangladesh fielded poorly, Irish blaster Stirling was presented with fresh life twice letting Ireland to an imposing total of 292/8 .Stirling along scored 130. He made bowlers like Shakib and Mashrafe mere mortals.

Winning the toss and electing to bat Stirling and McCollum found two fresh bowlers whom they did not encounter earlier in the series with fresh cherry. Jayed and Rubel started well. Rubel struck the first blow bringing in Balbirnie pairing with Stirling.

They looked menacing striking Bangladesh bowlers all over the park. However, Jayed to entice dangerous looking Balbirnie to a feather touch which Mushfiqur globed like an eagle on the prey. The momentum of Ireland. They could further dip into trouble had not Saifuddin and Sabbir given him new lease of life twice.

He is an experienced professional taking full toll of the situation. Partnering with his captain Porterfield he put on 174 in the third wicket a record for Ireland in ODI. Stirling struck 8 fours and four sixes in his sparkling innings of 130.

Porter’s fields also contributed 94 in 104 deliveries. None other than these two could do much. These pair in general and Stirling in particular was very severe on Shakib and Mashrafe in the death overs. Mashrafe unlike other matches came to bowling very late as sixth bowler.

He was not doing not that bad till his 8th over when he was blasted all over the park. Shakib also leaked 23 in one over. This can happen to the best of the best on a day. It was a match to cherish for rookie Jayed taking 5 wickets for 58 runs. Saifuddin also bowled well. Patience with Jayed gave dividends.

Anyway Irish score of 292 / 8 afforded Bangladesh an opportunity for chasing a sizable score. Tamim and Liton left and right hand combination started well. While Tamim struggled a bit with his timing Liton was looking great.

Tamim was put down by the keeper at 20. The opening pair raining to 117 set the tone of chase before was cleaned up by Rankin for 57. Liton played few sparking strokes square of the wicket and with Shakib kept the tempo before getting cleaned up scoring 76.

Shakib and Mushfiqur two senior pros kept the momentum and Bangladesh never looked like in any discomfort at the chase. However, Shakib looked in pain after scoring his fifty and attempting playing a square drive. He retired hurt with suspected side strain.

Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah both put in yet two useful knocks. Bangladesh raced to victory target scoring 294/5 in 43 overs. Only Mosaddek missed out in the run feast. Bangladesh won huge and handsome by 5 wickets.

Hope Bangladesh would take some lessons from this match. Fielding must be much tighter and tidy. If one the two catches Stirling offered early could be accepted Bangladesh could be chasing far smaller target. But this also acted a as blessing in disguise also.

Bangladesh could test their ability for chasing a sizable total. The World Cup may be run feast. Bangladesh may be needing scoring over 300 runs too often for a win.

This match however answered few questions. Liton playing a good innings justified his inclusion in the ICC squad. With him included it has to be seen whether Liton and Soumya can open the innings and Tamim can bat at three. But inform Shakib would be ideal for number three.

Either Soumya or Liton can bat down the order. We are not sure whether impressive Jayed would earn a place in the eleven for the final. But it was a job well done. Mosaddek bowling tight also created another option for a batting all rounder.

Hope Mashrafe would realize that he is also a mortal. He should not have played the match and even if he played he should have opened the bowling. Rubel usually bowls at middle over and death. MacAfee is no longer a bowler bowling at the death.

All said and done Bangladesh is looking great for its first ever tri nation ODI trophy .Winning this would give a big fillip to the team ahead of ICC World Cup. Hope Shakib recovers on time If not he must not be risked .He is invaluable weapon for Bangladesh in World Cup.

Tiger Jet after taxing on the slippery runway so far appears to be cruising smoothly towards World Cup Horizon. We must not compare Ireland or second string West Indies with any of the much better equipped World Cup team. But win is win and win gives confidence, creates momentum.

Saleque Sufi

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