Sunday 17 December 2017

Cricket: Irish keep Tigers to 205

Ireland players celebrate dismissing Shakib Al Hasan captain of Bangladesh for 16. Photo: Getty Images
Ireland players celebrate dismissing Shakib Al Hasan captain of Bangladesh for 16. Photo: Getty Images

Ireland made an encouraging start to their World Cup campaign as they bowled out co-hosts Bangladesh for 205 in their Group B clash in Mirpur today.

Having chosen to bat on a flat pitch, the Tigers impressed with a slew of boundaries in the early overs, but fine bowling by Andre Botha (three for 32) and 18-year-old spinner George Dockrell (two for 23) prevented Bangladesh from posting a big total.

Tamim Iqbal led the initial surge with his 44 before a spate of wickets left Raqibul Hasan (38) and Mushfiqur Rahim (36) to forge a 61-run stand.

That carried the Tigers through the middle overs and helped stretch the innings but Ireland continued to offer few easy runs and eventually closed the innings with four balls to spare.

Tamim and Imrul Kayes gave the crowd plenty to cheer about in the first powerplay, as the total reached 50 in just 5.4 overs, but Ireland soon hit back with three quick wickets.

Kayes (12) was stumped smartly by Niall O'Brien off John Mooney's bowling before new-man Junaid Siddique was run out for three attempting a quick single, Ed Joyce with the throw.

Botha made it three down when he had the dangerous Tamim caught slashing to point for 44.

Shakib Al Hasan struck three boundaries for his 16, but Botha nipped the skipper's innings in the bud, catching him off his own bowling.

Raqibul and Mushfiqur lent stability to the innings with their patient approach, taking 109 deliveries to put on 61 for the fifth wicket.

However, the Irish once again took the initiative away as Dockrell - who bowled one of the tightest spells of the tournament to date - removed Mushfiqur and newcomer Mohammad Ashraful (one) in successive overs, while Andrew White's quick fielding saw Raqibul run out.

The last three batsmen added a crucial 49 runs before being wrapped up by Botha and Trent Johnston, who ended with figures of two for 40.

Press Association

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