Cricket: Young's efforts not enough for Ireland against outstanding Bangladesh
Published 29/01/2010 | 05:00
Ireland coach Matt Dwyer gave his young guns an overall "seven out of 10" for their U-19 World Cup campaign after it ended with a 195-run drubbing by Bangladesh in the Plate Championship final.
Unable to prevent one of the pre-tournament favourites racking up 307-8 from their 50 overs after putting them in to bat, Ireland failed to mount anything approaching a challenge. They were skittled for 112 as Kamrul Islam Rabbi mopped up the last three wickets with a hat-trick.
Reaching the Plate final had guaranteed a best-ever 10th place in the rankings, but the goal of beating a Test-playing nation for the first time at this level went unfulfilled in New Zealand.
While Bangladesh have twice lost to the senior Ireland side at World Cups, they are a different proposition at youth level and came within a whisker of beating both the West Indies and finalists Pakistan in the toughest group.
Dwyer said: "It was disappointing that we never managed to put together all the elements of our game at the same time. Overall, we just weren't consistent enough."
Graham McDonnell and Ben Ackland gave Ireland's reply a hint of respectability yesterday, with the former clearing the ropes once in a rapid 31 and the latter defiantly seeing the total into three figures with 34 not out.
The damage had been done before lunch as Bangladesh rattled along, despite losing both openers to the promising Craig Young, putting the game beyond reach with 90 runs from the final seven overs.
It would be easy to say Ireland missed 17-year-old left-armer George Dockrell, who joined up with the senior squad in Sri Lanka yesterday, but his fellow spinners could not rein in a line-up weaned on slow bowling.
Captain Andy Balbirnie took 4-59, which will be some consolation for another batting failure, and he will surely get his chance to follow team-mates Paul Stirling and Dockrell into the senior ranks.
James Shannon, who missed two games with a sprained ankle, also looks destined for higher things, while 17-year-old seamer Jordan Coghlan and opener Stuart Thompson both showed potential in a happy and well-run squad.