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Report by Ian Callender at Stormont
July 18, 2012
Bangladesh 190 for 5 (Shakib 57, Rahman 40*) beat Ireland 119 for 8 (Wilson 41*, Sunny 5-13)
Bangladesh spun their way to an emphatic 71-run victory in the first Twenty20 international against Ireland in Belfast with Elias Sunny recording his country's best ever figures.
The Ireland batsmen had no answer to Sunny, the slow left-arm spinner, who took 5 for 13 as Ireland were restricted to 119 for 8, never threatening the tourists' imposing 190 for 5 on a blameless Stormont pitch.
The start was delayed by 30 minutes because of two heavy showers just before the start but that was the only respite the home team enjoyed. William Porterfield won the toss and asked Bangladesh to bat but from the off the team that are not even on the Twenty20 world ranking table meant business.
Tamim Iqbal with a run-a-ball 31 and Shakib Al Hasan, with nine boundaries in his 57 from just 33 deliveries, put Bangladesh in control and although both batsmen were out, along with the captain Mushfiqur Rahim in the space of 21 balls, the mayhem was just beginning.
Ziaur Rahman came to the middle at 120 for 4 and after facing just 17 balls he had scored 40, including five sixes. Four successive balls in the 16th and 17th overs from Paul Stirling and Max Sorensen cleared the boundary as the Ireland bowlers wilted.
Boyd Rankin, playing only his third game since the World Twenty20 qualifying final in March, was match rusty and, significantly, his best over was his last which gave Ireland some hope for the remaining two games in the series, on Friday and Saturday when they will also have George Dockrell available.
Dockrell, the Ireland Under-19 captain, also suffered on Wednesday as the England team they will be playing in the World Cup next month bowled them out for 94 in Leicester before a thunderstorm hit the ground.
But it is the Ireland batsmen who will have the most homework to do in the next 24 hours. They have to work out how to play left-arm spin because while Sunny grabbed the headlines with his wickets, Abdur Razzak was even more economical, conceding just nine runs in his four overs and picking up the prize scalps of Porterfield and Kevin O'Brien. And it will be surprising Shakib, the world's No 1 all-rounder in one-day cricket, does not bowl better in the next two matches.
Of Ireland's 119 runs, more than half (63) came from seven overs of pace, including 25 from the first two overs as Porterfield raced away, hitting two fours and two sixes. But he failed to survive Razzak's first over and when Paul Stirling ran himself out in the next Ireland were immediately on the back foot.
Only Gary Wilson looked anyway comfortable against the spin, although even he was helped to his unbeaten 41 by facing four overs from the returning opening bowlers. But that was about giving Mortaza and Abul Hasan overs under their belt with the game already won.
Bangladesh complete the requisite number of qualifying games on Friday to enter the Twenty20 rankings table and another victory will see them included in ninth place, above Ireland and, on the evidence of the first match, it will be well deserved.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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