Ireland v Bangladesh, T20 series, Stormont July 20, 2012

Mahmudullah strangles Ireland at the death

The Report by Ger Siggins at Stormont

Bangladesh 146 for 6 (Nasir Hossain 50*) beat Ireland 145 for 6 (Joyce 41) by one run
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Having lost the first game of this three-match series by 71 runs on Wednesday, Ireland had a point to prove. But while the margin of defeat this time was the narrowest possible, their pain was considerably greater because they know they should have won this Twenty20 international and claimed the scalp of Bangladesh for the third time in five years.

While Bangladesh batsmen failed to produce the fireworks of 48 hours earlier, their spinners again strangled Ireland. Two near-perfect overs from the offspinner Mahmudullah proved the difference between two well-matched sides and gave Bangladesh an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Mixing his deliveries, he conceded just four singles in the 18th over, and kept up the pressure with ten needed off the final over. His first three balls cost two runs as Ed Joyce and Andrew Poynter struggled to get him away, and both then perished to catches on the long-on rope as they tried to find the boundaries Ireland now needed. A fuming Trent Johnston smacked a six off the final ball, as he had in the narrow defeat to England here three years ago but, as then, it wasn't enough.

Bangladesh again won the toss and batted, naming an unchanged side. Phil Simmons had to plan without Boyd Rankin - who strained a muscle - and opted to do without Niall O'Brien. George Dockrell and Andrew Poynter came into the team.

"Niall hasn't been hitting the ball well", Phil Simmons, Ireland's coach, said afterwards, "he needs to work on a few things. I also wanted to have another look at Andrew Poynter who earned his chance in the [World T20] qualifiers in Dubai when he batted very well in the final when we needed him."

Bangladesh found the going a bit tougher than in the first game, as Ireland's attack kept tighter lines. Tamim Iqbal continued his struggles in the shorter game with a nine-ball duck, hauling his average below 14. Mohammad Ashraful kept the order marshalled, making a solid 38 while Mushfiqur Rahim and Ziaur Rehman briefly threatened.

Johnston was his usual miserly self, claiming Tamim to a brilliant catch by Dockrell, over his shoulder running back. The bowling of Kevin O'Brien, who hadn't bowled on Wednesday, was a bonus. He kept it tight and also took the scalp of Mahmudullah in four overs that went for 23 but, oddly, Paul Stirling wasn't used. A fine maiden T20I half-century by Nasir Hossein, whose unbeaten 50 included four fours and two sixs, boosted the total to 146 for 6.

Bangladesh opted to open with spin, but William Porterfield and Paul Stirling were looking fluent when the captain was run out for 14. Stirling went soon after for 26, which meant Ireland the innings lost its best chance to explode.

Joyce and Gary Wilson recovered well, putting on 55 in 7.4 overs, before a rush of blood saw Wilson stumped off Elias Sunny. Joyce, a brilliant judge of a run, battled on and kept the total moving but he hit only boundary in his 44-ball 41, and Andrew Poynter also struggled to hit the mostly spin attack.

Simmons was positive, and acknowledged his team had greatly improved their performance. "That was a lot better, we were on top for 80% of the game, but we lost it in the last overs of each innings," he said. "We conceded too many and then Mahmudullah and Shakib showed us how to put pressure on."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Masudur on July 22, 2012, 2:51 GMT

    Well done by Mahmudullah.Congratulation to you.

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    verry soon we will be on the top of the chart....where is maddy20? i m looking for him

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    Congrats Bangladesh Tigers

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    GUYS...Remember one thing.... if Ireland plays with other 8 test nation country like India,Westindies,England... they will surely win at least 1 game or even 2 games... they r very good in t20 format ... IN da last ODI world cup Ireland lost against Bangladesh but in the next match they chased 329 runs against England ... they won the match in 48th Over... Guys pls agree that Bangladesh is playing superbly... Its not like this that they r playing with the associated countries... Bangladesh played only 6 games in last 3 years... they beat WI & SA also... now they beat Ireland consistently ... they won 5 games in their last 8 games they played...thats y they r in 6th Position in T20 ranking.. so i don't think that was a surprising decision.. but in fact they were not in the Top 15 list due to their insufficient match playing before this series.. that was a surprising decision.. thanks....

  • Karandeep on July 21, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    @Third_Gear - If they get more matches, eventually they will. Also, forgot to mention AFG with Bermuda and Nepal.

  • Mazir on July 21, 2012, 14:31 GMT

    I also support Ireland's claim for the test status. They have some solid batsmen who hold good first class records..But there is no point of telling Bangladesh and Ireland in same level. In pace friendly Irish condition the difference may be bit little but in sub continent, Bangladesh is way better team than Ireland.

    So Indian people stop comparing Bangladesh with Ireland. If you people truly believe Ireland is much better team than BD than go...take an Ireland XI in your champions league, support them in a true way to gain their test status, Tell ur BCCI to donate a portion of their yearly income to ""poor"" Irish board etc etc

  • Dummy4 on July 21, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Though BD played well but I feel Ireland can match with the test sides like Bangladesh, Zim, Newzealand and India. Therefore ICC should consider them to be the next test playing nation and help them to develop their cricket infrastructure.

  • roket on July 21, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    @bored I Am: Sunny did run through WI line up in a test match last year, so no reason to hold your comments. He is the only player to win MOM on debut in 2 different formats. Now you know the rest of the story, can we hear your expert opinion?:-)

  • roket on July 21, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    This is really funny!! Someone is still claiming IRE and BD are evenly matched, and the reasoning given was IRE played bad the 1st game, and had a run out in the second game. I am guessing the underlying point is IRE would have won these matches, had they 1. "Not played bad" in the 1st match (Nice excuse, does it mean IRE is not responsible for this loss?), 2. Not had a run out early in the 2nd match (another excuse, it was not a disputed run out, it was a suicidal run, which means IRE is responsible)!!! Ireland won only 2 ODIs against BD out 7 (28% success rate), and won 1 out of 3 T20 (33% success rate). IRE land won 3 matches out of total 10 played (ODI and T20) combined for a 30% success rate. How does this ever equate to "Evenly matched"?? If there is a logical reasoning here that I am missing, please someone enlighten me!:-)

  • roket on July 21, 2012, 13:52 GMT

    @bored_iam: not sure I understand the logic behind your argument. Shakib scored 57 in the first game, BD won by 71!! The margin would have been much larger if BD pressed on to get the last 2 wickets instead of giving practice runs to their expensive pace bowlers. Shakib did not take a single wicket in the 1st match. Had Shakib not played the match (hypothetically), BD still would have won the match by at least 14 runs. In the second match Shakib performed poorly with both bat and ball, yet BD won. Don't let the 1 run margin fool you, 8 runs needed to win in the last ball is not a close match, it is a match that is not winnable. The last ball six is pointless. the match was won before the last ball was bowled. So BD won, on foreign soil, against the strongest associate team, 2 matches where Shakib was not part of the winning equation. The 1st match was won by Elias Sunny, the second won won by Nasir, which is evident from the MOM awards. Your argument is not valid.

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