Tuesday 18 March 2008 

Bangladesh Stamp Authority With Eight Wicket Win

Ireland posted a mediocre 185-7 off their allotted 50 overs in the first One Day International of three against Bangladesh in Mirpur, which the hosts knocked off with ease to win by eight wickets.

Immediately Bangladesh stamped their authority on the game as both Ireland openers were dismissed cheaply. This was due to some brilliant tight bowling from Mashrafe Mortaza who picked up both Porterfield and Strydom departing for hardly one and eight to leave the visitors reeling at 18-2. Middlesex’s Eoin Morgan steadied the ship with a patient 35 before Farhad Raza bowled him to knock the Irish side’s chances of posting a big total.

Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals, as Ireland were unable to capitalise on their batsmen getting in and then all of a sudden getting out. At 115-6 Alex Cusack was joined by skipper Trent Johnson, the pair added 65 for the seventh wicket to give their side a chance in the match. Mortaza returned to remove Cusack for a watchful 38, where as Johnson continued on to remain unbeaten on 31 at the end of their overs to give their side some hope for when they get onto the field with the ball in their hand.

Young talent Tamim Iqbal was removed early for 13 by David Langford-Smith to give the side an early boost of moral. Johnson then removed the recalled Aftab Ahmed after injury for just 11 as the visitors looked to be putting up a good fight, but opener Shahriar Nafees and captain Mohammad Ashraful were both unbeaten at the end of the innings as they successfully chased down the target ,finishing on 186-2.

Nafees ended unbeaten on 90 during a brisk innings in which he dominated the Irish bowling attack, Ashraful finally capitalised on his starts and was unbeaten on 64. This win will give the home side some momentum for the series and give them much needed confidence as they look to silence doubters as to whether they should be allowed their International Status, so far so good for Bangladesh.

Pierce Morley-Barnes
© Cricket World 2008