Ireland given reality check as Bangladesh dish out a lesson

Ireland's Stuart Thompson
Ireland's Stuart Thompson

Ireland were given a timely reminder of what will be needed to make the Super 10s group stages of the T20 World Championship when they were comfortably beaten in their final warm-up game by Bangladesh in Fatullah.

Confidence would have been reasonably high on the back of Wednesday’s solid win over Nepal but this was to prove a much tougher test and Ireland were some way short in the final reckoning.

The Tigers won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first and despite some tidy early overs from Paul Stirling and Andy McBrine the hosts really kicked on in the second half of their innings.

Tamin Iqbal (32) and Sabbir Rahman (23) were steady at the top of the order before Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahman took the match away from the Irish with some powerful stroke-play.

Al Hasan hit an unbeaten 58 while his partner added 59. Both men faced just 31 balls each in their partnership.

That assault on the visitors’ bowling saw Bangladesh add an uninterrupted 116 runs from the last 10 overs- a daunting target of 180 required for victory by Ireland.

The late onslaught did little for the bowling returns with Stirling (1-18) and McBrine (1-22) easily the pick while George Dockrell (1-29) claimed the only other wicket to fall.

Ireland needed runs and needed them quickly if they were to stay in the contest but a steady fall of wickets meant they were unable to find much rhythm in reply.

Skipper Porterfield dug in but only Ed Joyce (15) and Andrew Poynter (12) of the top six joined him in double figures as they slumped to 70 for 5.

The game was up when Porterfield was dismissed for 44, a good effort that contained 4 fours and made in even time.

After that it took a late 35 from Stuart Thompson (3 fours and 2 sixes) to add some respectability to the total without ever threatening to win the match.

The final margin of defeat was 44 runs and while the real business doesn’t start until next week, this was something of a learning curve for Phil Simmons’ men.

With only one place to play for in the pre-qualifying group the Irish lads now have plenty to think about ahead of Monday’s crunch opening tournament game with Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, Ireland will lock horns with traditional Celtic rivals Scotland in a three-match one-day international series in Dublin later this summer.

The teams first played each other way back in 1888, and have tussled for supremacy ever since.

The 2014 games are scheduled for the new international ground at Malahide on September 8, 10 and 12.

The sides have played 12 one-day internationals against each other since gaining ODI status following the 2005 ICC Trophy final in Dublin.

Scotland have won only three times, including a remarkable victory in 2011 when an inspired innings from Richie Berrington saw the home side chase down 320 in Edinburgh to win by five wickets.

The two most recent of Ireland’s nine wins came in the ICC World Cricket League last September in Belfast when last man Tim Murtagh struck two boundaries to snatch a final-over thriller before a more comfortable seven-wicket victory in the second game.