ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Bangladesh v Ireland, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mirpur

Shafiul secures Bangladesh vital victory

The Report by Andrew Miller

February 25, 2011

Comments: 218 | Text size: A | A

Bangladesh 205 (Tamim 44, Botha 3-32, Johnston 3-40) beat Ireland 178 (Shafiul 4-21) by 27 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Mohammad Ashraful celebrated extravagantly after his wickets, Bangladesh v Ireland, World Cup 2011, Mirpur, February 25, 2010
Mohammad Ashraful sparked Bangladesh's fightback with two wickets © Getty Images

Bangladesh's bowlers held their nerve to atone for the failures of their batsman, as the pluck of the Irish proved insufficient to overcome the most fervent atmosphere of the World Cup so far. In a gripping, low-scoring encounter at Mirpur, Bangladesh flirted with disaster as they squandered a flying start from Tamim Iqbal to crash to 205 all out, and when Ireland reached 93 for 3 at the halfway mark of their reply, they were well on course for a hugely deserved victory. However, six wickets for the Bangladeshi spin quartet set the stage for a flying finish from Shafiul Islam, who claimed 4 for 21 in eight hostile and reverse-swinging overs, to seal a wildly acclaimed victory by 27 runs with five overs to spare.

The result was tough on the Irish who, like the Netherlands earlier in the week, gave the match their all and deserved a Test-playing scalp as their reward. But the belief and unity of the Bangladeshis had to be seen to be believed, as they dusted themselves down after a chastising performance with the bat, and set about defending their meagre total with skill, tenacity and some sublime commitment in the field. Mohammad Ashraful, whose mercurial batting once again let him down when the heat was on, proved a revelation with the ball, as his spin-bowling all-sorts picked up two vital wickets inside the first 19 overs, and whose subsequent celebrations imbued both his team-mates - and perhaps more crucially, a rammed and expectant Mirpur crowd - with belief.

There will be many higher-profile fixtures than this in the coming weeks, but few could prove as pivotal to the fortunes of two teams who exceeded expectations four years ago in reaching the Super Eights in the Caribbean. Ireland's hopes of playing in the 2015 tournament hinge on their ability to produce this sort of performance in each of their next five matches, to convince the ICC that they deserve their place at the top table. But more immediately, Bangladesh's victory gives them a real chance of pushing for a quarter-final place that their form in home internationals suggests could be attainable.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Bangladesh started the match with the same aplomb with which they finished, bringing their fans to their feet in a thrilling first four overs, in which Tamim's blistering volley of strokeplay lifted the score to an imposing 41 for 0. However, Ireland are a more resourceful side than meets the eye, and the early decision to reduce the pace on the ball slowly but surely changed the tide of the contest. Trent Johnston and John Mooney drew the sting of the innings with their unrelenting line and length, but it was left to the teenaged spinner George Dockrell to inflict the telling blows.

Dockrell twirled straight through his ten overs, claiming 2 for 23 with a performance brimful of guile. His agonisingly slow pace through the air left all the batsmen groping in their defences, scared of taking on the long straight boundary for fear of being beaten in flight, and his two dismissals were carbon-copies of one another - a crease-bound Mushfiqur Rahim paddle-swept to Andrew White at short backward leg to end a doughty innings of 36, before Ashraful followed suit for 1 in the very next over.

Ireland's commitment in the field was unstinting. Ed Joyce and White pulled off a direct-hit run-out apiece, the first to remove Junaid Siddique for 3 - a dismissal which undermined Bangladesh's early momentum following the loss of the opener Imrul Kayes to an expert leg-side stumping from Niall O'Brien - and the latter to extract Raqibul Hasan for 38, at precisely the moment he looked set to guide the tail to a comfortable 200-plus total. But the one telling shortcoming was the performance of their quickest bowler, Boyd Rankin. His nine overs went for 62 - the most expensive analysis of the day - including a poor final over that went for 11.

Smart Stats

  • Bangladesh's 27-run win was their first over Ireland in World Cups and their fifth in seven matches against Ireland. Ireland had beaten Bangladesh by 74 runs in their previous meeting in World Cups.
  • This was only the eighth win for Bangladesh in ODIs in Mirpur after batting first. They have lost on 13 occasions after batting first.
  • Shafiul Islam's 4 for 21 is the best bowling performance in World Cups by a Bangladesh bowler surpassing Abdur Razzak's 3 for 25 against South Africa in 2007.
  • The fifty of the Bangladesh innings came up in just 5.4 overs which is the fastest time to a fifty for any team in this World Cup so far.

Pace off the ball was the secret on this deck, at least until such time as the Irish tail was exposed to Shafiul's old-ball wiles. He was given just the one over with the new ball in Ireland's innings, before Shakib turned to the spin pairing of Abdur Razzak and Naeem Islam. The tactic paid dividends in the sixth over of the innings, when Paul Stirling yorked himself while advancing to Razzak, and was stumped by Mushfiqur as the ball dribbled off the pads and past his off stump.

With the pressure intense in spite of the small target, Ireland's captain, Will Porterfield, set himself to make the most of every scoring opportunity. He had launched the innings in confident style with a second-ball drive off Shafiul through point, and he added a second four when Naeem dropped short at the end of his third over. But Shakib, Bangladesh's captain and senior spinner, struck with his first delivery, as Porterfield attempted a flick off the back foot, and instead popped a simple catch to Raqibul at short midwicket.

O'Brien, however, was the right man to enter the fray. He was the hero of a tense run-chase in Jamaica four years ago, when Ireland stunned Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup, and two fours in the same Shakib over were the perfect tonic for his team's frayed nerves. In partnership with the England veteran, Joyce, he picked off the singles and gnawed away at the target, before Joyce, on 16, attempted to drive against the spin, and popped a simple chance to Ashraful.

Ashraful celebrated as if the match was already won, which it self-evidently was not at 75 for 3 in the 19th over. However, the belief in the Bangladesh team was picked up on by the crowd, and the roof was raised six overs later, when White, on 10, played a lazy pushed drive from deep in the crease to be bowled through the gate.

It was a dismissal that increased the Irish jitters ten-fold, but it was nothing compared to the dismissal of O'Brien three overs later. With a rock-solid 38 from 52 balls to his name, he was tempted to put too much bat through a lofted clip into the leg side, and Tamim at deep square leg hurtled in to snaffle a brilliant low catch inches from the turf. At 110 for 5, Bangladesh were right back in the contest and O'Brien's self-recriminations were revealing. With an asking-rate of four an over, there was simply no need for such risks.

His brother Kevin, however, chose his big shots more judiciously - at least at first. An up-and-under six over long-on was the first and only maximum of the match, and he added two more kitchen-sink clumps in Ashraful's ninth and final over, which went for 14. But at 151 for 5 in the 37th over, when all that was required was a cool head and an exchange of singles, O'Brien was suckered by Shafiul's short ball, and launched a pull straight to the substitute, Suhrawadi Shuvo, at square leg.

From that moment on, Ireland's hopes began to evaporate. Naeem nailed Mooney for an eight-ball duck, as he tried a flat-footed cut but edged into his stumps, and three balls later, the obdurate Andre Botha played all round a full-length delivery that crashed into his leg stump. With Shafiul on a roll, surfing the crowd's delirium and zipping the ball at pace from a full length, the tail were unable to resist. Bangladesh's World Cup campaign is up and running. Ireland's, despite their best endeavours, must start all over again against England next week.

Match Timeline

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 218 
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Posted by Jahid on (February 28, 2011, 6:44 GMT)

swikar22 Thanks for your support. Supporting an european team is okay, but hatred to BD team is not. Sakib is an awesome captain. He has limited resources, but knows how to use them.

Posted by Dewan on (February 28, 2011, 2:26 GMT)

The way the batsmen threw away their wickets playing shots without merit, it was appalling, Shakib's example was worst. Non of the batsmen deserved to get the Man of the Match award. Their performance was pretty below average for the World Cup. Shafiul's bowling was pivotal in Bangladesh's win given the fact that Ireland needed to win just about 44 runs with plenty of overs remaining. Shafiul deserved to be the MOM, will never know what the adjudicators were thisnking.

Posted by A on (February 27, 2011, 18:16 GMT)

@ Ibbani: Dont't even dream of Brit beating India? Over-hyped team by the media? Buddy I know you saw the game today. I know you saw your country men leaving the stadium before the match was over. My advice: Dont't worry yourself with BAN, worry about Your team. * Ireland played 100% and are inspiring everytime they play and I wish them all the best. I wish the best to all the teams, specially our Asian teams and as always: FIGHT Tigers Fight, do your best - We are with you regardless of the outcome.

Posted by JALAL on (February 27, 2011, 13:12 GMT)

Bangladesh now one of the best Cricket Loveing nations all over the world. as per last match of Bangladesh i thinks that match was one of the best match until now in this world cup. i feel so proud according our teem result. me personaly sure that we will paly super 8. GO...TIGER...CATCH & EAT THEN Make History for US.

Posted by hunter on (February 27, 2011, 12:54 GMT)

Absolutely it was a lucky Escape from BD, But they failed to show the Difference between Test n Non-Test playing Nation.......I my view from technical Cricket BD is loser........

Posted by Ehsan on (February 27, 2011, 10:27 GMT)

@ terrorofdeath ..........I really liked your post ..........thank you very much man for being so sensible!

Posted by MAHMUDUL HASAN on (February 27, 2011, 7:47 GMT)

i think ashraful must be dropped from the team to make full 10 wicket team bangladesh otherwise bangladesh play always with 9 wicket when ashraful in team cause -1

Posted by Cric on (February 27, 2011, 4:55 GMT)

and yes BD can only beat the top tier teams if they have a bad day!

Posted by Cric on (February 27, 2011, 4:33 GMT)

Banglabandhu- You said "BD has been highlighted (by commentators and journalists) as the ONE team in Group B that are possible of causing upsets". Yes, an upset is defined as an "unexpected defeat" i.e. when a worse team ends up winning against a better team. So, yes everyone is still considering them as minows and no one expects them to win against the strongers, which is why they're calling a possible BD victory as an upset. Get it?

Posted by Ashraful on (February 27, 2011, 4:25 GMT)

Congratz 2 BD tigers for the win although it was not a convincing one. As we can see Ireland and Netherlands are doing well in world cricket. Do u know why? Bcoz their big brother England spread their helping hand 2 them. They are taking some potential players in English county as their local county is lot better than that of Ireland and Netherlands. This is the role of a big brother I would say 2 nourish its younger brothers. On the other hand what India has done 4 its younger bother 2 b nourished??????????????? I am not saying that they should take them in IPL coz IPL only give players money not improves their quality. I would like see some BD players in the Ranji trophy or some local tournaments of India so that they can learn some more professionalism from Indians. So my request is 2 Indians that please stop criticizing BD players rather than help them 2 nourish and play the role of a big brother.

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Andrew Miller Andrew Miller was saved from a life of drudgery in the City when his car caught fire on the way to an interview. He took this as a sign and fled to Pakistan where he witnessed England's historic victory in the twilight at Karachi (or thought he did, at any rate - it was too dark to tell). He then joined Wisden Online in 2001, and soon graduated from put-upon photocopier to a writer with a penchant for comment and cricket on the subcontinent. In addition to Pakistan, he has covered England tours in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007
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