Bowlers carry Bangladesh home against Ireland

Friday, February 25, 2011

DHAKA - Bangladesh survived a scare before their bowlers rescued them to post a 27-run victory over Ireland in a World Cup Group B match here Friday.

Defending a small score of 205 runs, Bangladesh bowled out Ireland for 178 runs in 45 overs with pacer Shafiul Islam taking four wickets. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Ashraful took two wickets each.

The bowlers were backed by some strong fielding with opener Tamim Iqbal, who scored a brisk 44, taking a brilliant diving catch at deep to get rid of Ireland’s top scorer Niall O’Brien (38). The catch swung the match in Bangladesh’s favour.

Ireland lost wickets at regular intervals and were never in the hunt except for the 39-run third wicket partnership between O8Brien and Ed Joyce (16). Kevin O’ Brien (37) and Andre Botha (22) tried to pull things back but it was not enough.

Bangladesh, who lost the first match against India, registered their first victory in the tournament and celebrated the moment in front of the packed stadium.

But it was not before they went through some tense moments. Ireland gave themselves a good chance to beat Bangladesh and repeat their feat of the 2007 World Cup when they got the better of the sub-continental team.

Bangladesh were at one point struggling at 86 for four. Tamim (44) played a cameo while Mushfiqur Rahim (36) and Raqibul Hasan (38) were involved in a steady 61-run fifth-wicket partnership to pull the team through choppy waters.

Left-arm spinner George Dockwell was impressive in his spell, taking two wickets and giving away 23 in his quota of overs.

The home team, which lost their first match to India, were off to a great start with openers Tamim and Imrul Kayes (12) smashing 53 in 6.3 overs. But Irish medium pacers Trent Johnston (2/40) and Andre Botha (3/32) proved more than a handful on a slow wicket. They had Bangladesh on the mat in the next 10 overs.

Rahim and Hasan did the repair job as they managed a respectable total.

Barring an odd partnership, Bangladesh kept on losing wickets and could only muster 32 runs in the last 10 overs.

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