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Wisden Cricinfo staff
February 27, 2004
Bangladesh 143 for 2 (Iqbal 86*) beat Ireland 141 (Chowdhury 4-14) by eight wickets
Bangladesh completed a hat-trick of victories in Group Two of the Plate Championship with an eight-wicket demolition of Ireland at Chittagong.
Both sides were already through to the semi-finals before today's match, but the incentive for the winners was a match against Scotland, while the losers knew they would have the stiffer task of facing Australia.
Ireland chose to bat first, knowing that Bangladesh have stuttered when chasing small totals in the tournament so far, against Canada and Uganda. But Ireland were unable to set any sort of challenging target, crashing to 141 all out in the 47th over with Nadif Chowdhury, the left-arm seamer, the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 14.
This time Bangladesh's batsmen made few mistakes in their reply. Opener Nafis Iqbal at last found form with the bat, hitting 86 not out to guide his side to victory for the loss of only two wickets in 30 overs.
Iqbal was named Man of the Match and said he was pleased to have made some runs for his team. He said, "It is not about scoring centuries, it is all about winning the match for the team. It was just important today that we won the match."
Adrian Birrell, Ireland's coach, singled out Iqbal for his batting performance. "All credit to Nafis for a very good innings, he batted very well against us," he said. "I'm not too disappointed with our performance, we just came up against a better team on the day. We will now turn our efforts towards beating Australia and hopefully we may even meet Bangladesh in the final."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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