Half-centuries from Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, and Shakib Al Hasan paired with a five-wicket haul from Abu Jayed guided Bangladesh to a comfortable six-wicket win over Ireland in the concluding group game of the One-Day International Tri-Series at Clontarf Cricket Club. Chasing 294, Tamim and Das opened the batting for Bangladesh and got off to a good start, cantering to 58 for no loss after the first ten overs. Tamim brought up a well-deserved 50 when he chopped on off Boyd Rankin for 57. Having reached an excellent 76, Das was deceived by a McCarthy yorker to be bowled. The two wickets didn’t stem the flow of runs, with Shakib joined by Mushfiqir Rahim and they looked to continue their good form from the previous games. Rahim looked particularly good until he feathered one down the legside to depart for 35, courtesy of a brilliant take from Gary Wilson behind the stumps.
Shakib completed his half-century but due to a side strain, he had to retire hurt soon after. This left Mahmudullah and Mossadek Hossain at the crease and they continued knocking off the runs very cleverly, showing a variety of deft touches with the occasional piece of power. Mossadek was too deft one too many times and deflected an intended dab to the third man to Wilson off Adair, who was more than value for his wicket. Sabbir Rahman’s four sealed the six-wicket win for Bangladesh. Mahmudullah ended on 35 not out. Earlier, Paul Stirling registered a fine 130 in the first innings, which was ably assisted by a timely return to form for captain William Porterfield, who contributed 94. The duo provided the backbone of the Ireland innings, which got up to a respectable 292/8.
Following the early loss of James McCollum, the in-form Andrew Balbirnie joined Stirling at the crease, with the pair showing a lot of early intent. Stirling hit similarly hooked sixes off Rubel Hossain in the first seven overs to get Ireland off to a positive start. Balbirnie looked in fine touch once again and had breezed to 20 without any fuss, before getting caught behind while attempting a pull shot. This brought the captain Porterfield to the crease. He was watchful to start as the Bangladesh bowling in the middle overs was tight and disciplined, but with more time in the middle, the captain’s confidence grew. The duo kept ticking the scoreboard over until the second drinks break at the 38 over the mark, whereupon both players tried to break loose. Stirling was soon through to his hundred much to the delight of the fans in Clontarf and celebrated by kneeling on the Clontarf pitch as much in relief as in joy.
Porterfield was not quite as lucky, finding deep extra cover’s hands on 94. The partnership between Stirling and Porterfield was the highest for any wicket against a full member and Ireland’s highest third-wicket partnership in ODIs. Porterfield’s dismissal didn’t halt the momentum though as Stirling took Shakib Al Hasan, who has been so tight with his bowling in this series, for 23 in the 46th over. It was a brute force and brilliant timing, clearing the ropes four times in his mammoth innings. Kevin O’Brien and Stirling both holed out in consecutive overs as they desperately surged for more late runs. It was left for small cameos from Gary Wilson and Mark Adair to take Ireland up to 292/8. Abu Jayed starred with the ball for Bangladesh, taking 5-58.
Bangladesh will next meet West Indies in the final of the series on May 17 at The Village, Malahide, Dublin. Brief scores: Ireland 292/8 (P Stirling 130, W Porterfield 94, A Jayed 5-58) lost to Bangladesh 294/4 (L Das 76, T Iqbal 57, B Rankin 2-48) by 6 wickets.