Ruthless Tigers draw first blood
Bangladesh hammered Ireland by 71 runs this evening in the first of three Twenty20 internationals at Belfast, with spinner Elias Sunny's 5-13 destroying the hosts’ batting on T20 debut.
Chasing 191 for victory, Ireland stumbled to 119 for eight from 20 overs as they could not handle the left-arm spin of the 26-year-old.
Shakib Al Hasan and Ziaur Rahman, who hit 57 and 40 respectively - the latter’s 17-ball innings including five sixes, dominated a total of 190 for five at Stormont as the Tigers began their tour of Ireland and the Netherlands in some style.
After being put in it was slow going early on for the tourists as Tamim Iqbal and Mohammed Ashraful struggled to find the boundary, having to settle for ones and twos.
The pressure told when Ashraful smashed Max Sorensen’s slower ball through point for four only to play on next delivery.
Shakib hit four fours in five balls to inject some life into the innings. Two more boundaries off Boyd Rankin pushed Bangladesh along, but Tamim then holed out to long-on off Paul Stirling for a run-a-ball 31.
Shakib kept the scoreboard ticking over until he was bowled while advancing to Stirling’s off-spin. Mushfiqur Rahim went in the next over, mis-timing a Rankin short ball to midwicket.
However, Bangladesh hit back with four sixes in four balls as Stirling was twice smacked into the stands by number six Rahman and Mahmudullah repeated the trick off Sorensen, whom the latter had caught for 23 later in the over.
Rahman was in no mood to let up, hitting maximums off Trent Johnson, Sorensen and Alex Cusack in the last three overs.
Will Porterfield kept the crowd ducking for cover, clearing the rope twice in the first two overs of the reply and adding two more boundaries for good measure. However, he was stumped off Abdur Razzak for 26.
Razzak made another breakthrough in the next, comfortably running out danger man Stirling with a direct hit from mid-off.
Ed Joyce and Niall O'Brian then departed in consecutive balls in the ninth over off Sunny, the former picking out deep square-leg and the latter stumped.
It signalled a collapse of six wickets for 16 runs as Kevin O'Brien was bowled by Razzak for a duck and Sunny likewise accounted for Mooney plus Cusack before having Johnston held on the rope.
Gary Wilson's impressive unbeaten knock of 41 meant Ireland avoided a humiliating score, but the hosts will be hopeful of a better performance at the same venue on Friday.