CRICKET: Balbirnie sets the standard but Ireland Wolves fall short

Ireland's Andrew Balbirnie. Pic by PressEye.
Ireland's Andrew Balbirnie. Pic by PressEye.

Ireland Wolves finished with a four-wicket defeat to Bangladesh ‘A’ in the latest tour clash of high drama.

“It was another close game that, unfortunately, didn’t go our way,” said man-of-the-match Andrew Balbirnie following the T20 contest. “It was very satisfying to see the players react so well after a poor performance yesterday (Tuesday).

“With one game left and lads looking to impress, it’s important we apply all our hard work and look to finish off a tour that has been testing but very important for us.”

Balbirnie, once again, top scored for the Irish with a rapid 83 from just 51 deliveries which included seven fours and four maximums.

The Irish skipper dominated a second-wicket stand of 51 with Stuart Thompson (13) after James Shannon had been dismissed by the first ball of the match.

Balbirnie also added 65 for the fourth wicket with Sean Terry, who contributed a run-a-ball 28.

Balbirnie had previously posted a defiant half-century tally on Tuesday in Ireland Wolves’ eight-wicket loss to Bangladesh ‘A’ at the same venue.

A final total of 170 for seven looked competitive at the halfway stage - but in psite of Barry McCarthy striking twice for figures of two for 32, it wasn’t enough as the hosts’ firepower proved too strong.

Al -Amin struck 67 from just 40 balls thanks to eight fours and two sixes, while host skipper Nazmul Hossain clubbed four fours and three sixes in a rapid 47 from just 26 balls.

Hossain formed a stand of 58 with Al-Amin which took the game away from the Irish.

Ireland battled bravely but the hosts were always ahead of the required rate, sealing the four-wicket victory with two balls remaining.

Simi Singh was the most economical of the Irish attack, taking 1-24 in his four-over spell.

Ireland conclude the Bangladesh tour today at Cox’s Bazar in the fifth one-day meeting between the teams.