Bangladesh v Ireland, World Twenty20, Trent Bridge June 8, 2009

The Kevin and Niall show

Quick start of the day

Junaid Siddique had hit his first ball for six over midwicket against India and today he began by carving his first ball, off Boyd Rankin, over the slips for four, and launching the second to the cover boundary. However, he was unable to carry on like he did against India - 41 off 21 balls - and skied a catch to square leg for 13.

Physical mis-match of the day

"The little man has hit the big man for six!" or a close variant of that sentence was used to describe Sachin Tendulkar hitting Tom Moody over the sightscreen in Sharjah. Today Mohammad Ashraful, who's nearly a foot shorter than Boyd Rankin's 6ft 7in frame, shuffled towards the off side, latched on to a short ball, and pulled the fast bowler flat and powerfully over the square-leg boundary. It wasn't anywhere near Tendulkar's class but still a sight to behold.

Generous moment of the day

Ashraful gave Kevin O'Brien catching practice, prodding nervously at a Trent Johnston delivery and edging the easiest of catches to first slip. Kevin, however, dropped it. A few boundaries later, Ashraful decided it was time to give Kevin a chance to make up for his error, and he duly did. Kevin took the catch this time, and Johnston was the bowler as well.

Run out of the day

Mahmudullah pushed the ball towards the leg side and Tamim Iqbal set off for the single from the non-strikers' end but was sent back. So unsettled was Tamim that he dropped his bat in the middle of the pitch. The wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien saw the opportunity and sprinted to the ball, unleashing a fierce throw towards the bowler Kyle McCallan. He couldn't collect cleanly but was in such a good position behind the stumps that the ball bounced off his stomach and dislodged the bails, catching Tamim, who was struggling without the reach of his bat, out of his crease.

Reflexes of the day

There won't be too many stumpings quicker than the one Niall O'Brien pulled off to dismiss Mahmudullah today while standing up to the stumps for the medium-pacer Alex Cusack. Mahmudullah swung across the line at a full ball and missed, his back foot was well inside the crease but he raised it for what seemed like milliseconds. It was all that Niall needed and the bails were off in a flash just before the boot was grounded again. It was perfect timing.

Much-needed over of the day

The Bangladesh innings had been deprived of momentum from the start and was floundering at 117 for 8 after 19 overs. Enter Mashrafe Mortaza who took on Cusack in the final over, hitting him powerfully over midwicket and down the ground. Bangladesh took 20 runs off the over and achieved a total they could possibly defend.

Best leg-side hitter of the day …

… was Niall O'Brien. Hobbling after injuring himself during Bangladesh's innings, Niall laid into Mashrafe Mortaza's third over. The first ball was flicked over the midwicket boundary while the third was flicked again this time over square leg. For the fifth, Niall moved towards the off side, bent down a little and swatted the ball high over deep square leg.

Emphatic finish of the day

Kevin O'Brien backed away towards the leg side, made room, and smashed a length ball from Rubel Hossain over mid-on. He raised his arms in triumph for that stroke had sent Bangladesh crashing out of the tournament and secured Ireland's berth in the Super Eight.

George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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