Shafiul Bowls Bangladesh To Vital World Cup Win
Bangladesh held their nerve to defeat Ireland by 27 runs and take their first victory of the Cricket World Cup in a low-scoring but gripping encounter in Dhaka.
Ireland gave themselves a strong chance of producing the first upset of the competition by bowling out hosts Bangladesh for 205 before they were themselves dismissed for 178.
Andre Botha took three wickets while Trent Johnston and George Dockrell chipped in with two apiece as the home side failed to make best use of winning the toss and deciding to bat first.
Pacer Shafiul Islam then led the way for Bangladesh with four for 21 as Ireland were dismissed in 45 overs having lost wickets throughout their run chase.
Bangladesh were going along nicely when Tamim Iqbal, who top scored with 44 in 43 balls, was taking on the Irish bowlers, but fell away badly once he was dismissed and Ireland reasserted some control on proceedings.
Experienced seamers Botha and Johnston - veterans of Ireland's World Cup win over Bangladesh in the Caribbean four years ago - led the way before young left-arm spinner Dockrell removed set batsman Mushfiqur Rahim for 36 and ruined Mohammad Ashraful's latest comeback by dismissing him for one.
Raqibul Hasan made 38 in 69 balls as he worked hard to get Bangladesh's innings back on track after they were reduced to 86 for four and a late blast of 29 in 38 balls from Naeem Islam ensured they would at least pass 200 and give their bowlers something to work with.
Botha's figures were three for 32, Johnston's two for 40, Dockrell's two for 23 while there was also a wicket for John Mooney, who had Imrul Kayes stumped early on for 12.
Bangladesh wasted no time in playing to their strengths, opening the bowling with Abdur Razzak and putting Ireland under pressure with spin used almost throughout.
Razzak quickly found reward when Paul Stirling was stumped for nine before fellow left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan had William Porterfield (20) caught by Raqibul.
A huge cheer went up when Ed Joyce was caught and bowled by Ashraful, who atoned for his failure with the bat by taking two for 28 in eight overs - also removing Andrew White for ten.
The O'Brien brothers Niall and Kevin attempted to get Ireland's innings back on track but their efforts were undone when Shakib had Niall brilliantly caught in the deep by Tamim for 38 and Shafiul had Kevin caught by substitute Suhrawadi Shuvo for 37.
Botha made 22 before he was bowled by Shafiul, who then finished off proceedings by having Trent Johnston trapped in front for six and Boyd Rankin caught by Junaid Siddique for three.
Bangladesh lost their World Cup opener to co-hosts India by 87 runs while this is Ireland's first match of the tournament.
© Cricket World 2011