Ireland crushed by Bangladesh
Ireland crashed to a humiliating 71 run defeat against Bangladesh at a blustery Stormont last night in the first of their three scheduled Twenty20 clashes.
Ireland captain William Porterfield admitted to reading the pitch completely wrong as the green seamer hoped for transpired into a dry turner, which played perfectly into the hands of the Bangladeshi battery of left arm spinners.
While there wasn't much warmth on view, it was the ironically named, and relatively unknown Elias Sunny who wreaked havoc with the Irish batting as he claimed Man of the Match figures of 5 for 13 - the best ever T20 figures by a Bangaldesh player - to spin Ireland to the defeat.
Gary Wilson continued his fine season with an unbeaten 41 from 36 balls (4 fours, 1 six), and skipper Porterfield sparkled briefly with 26 from 16 (2 sixes, 2 fours), but in truth Ireland were totally outclassed in all facets of the game, as they crawled to 119 for 8 in pursuit of 191 for victory.
It was a strangely lacklustre Ireland in the field with numerous mistakes, and the bowling rarely threatened to make serious inroads into the Tigers batting. Paul Stirling and Max Sorensen both took two wickets, albeit expensive ones as Shakib Al Hasan (57) and Tamim Iqbal (31) laid the foundation for a late assault.
The late pyrotechnics came from the bat of Ziaur Rahman who smashed five sixes in an unbeaten 40 from just 17 balls.
69 runs were added in the final 5 overs to take Bangaldesh to an imposing 190 for 5 - a total which proved way beyong the under-par Irish.
The teams meet again on Friday and Saturday at the same venue, when Ireland will have George Dockrell back from Under 19 duty.
Coach Phil Simmons will also be back at the helm having missed the game due to a family bereavement.
A feature of this Ireland team throughout the years has been their resilience and 'bouncebackability'. Hopefully on Friday these attributes will once again be evident.