Ireland's returnees from the county circuit, William Porterfield and Boyd Rankin, combined to inflict a comprehensive defeat on Bangladesh in the first ODI in Belfast. Rankin shone with his seam bowling, helping Ireland restrict the visitors, and Porterfield struck a century to extend his team's unbeaten run since the start of the ICC World Cricket League Division One in the Netherlands. The effort undermined a maiden ODI century from Junaid Siddique, who had led Bangladesh's recovery after a poor start.
The signs were ominous for Bangladesh in the second over in the chase. Syed Rasel's gentle left-arm seamers were punished by opener Paul Stirling, who struck three fours, dispatching two short balls and driving one through the covers. Stirling gave the innings impetus, and allowed Porterfield time to settle in at the other end. Stirling didn't hesistate to go over the top against the seamers and collected boundaries towards long off, and by consistently piercing the in-field on the off side.
Porterfield opened up against spin, driving Shakib Al Hasan straight and lofting him over long-off for a six. The pair had no difficulty pinching singles either during the Powerplay, and any possibility of an extended period of quiet was thwarted by an aggressive shot, like Porterfield's pulled six off Rubel Hossain in the 15th over.
By the time Bangladesh struck, in the 20th over, the openers had added 118, giving the batsmen to follow an ideal foundation from which to finish things off. And they did, with Porterfield reaching his fifth ODI century. Alex Cusack stayed till the end, finishing with an unbeaten 45, and sealed the chase with five overs to spare.
The comfort with which Ireland cruised to victory rendered an impressive performance from Siddique hopelessly inadequate. He had, together with Shakib, put on a century stand to overcome the early loss of the openers, including the in-form Tamim Iqbal, who had been dismissed by Rankin and Trent Johnston inside the first three overs.
Siddique, however, appeared confident from the outset. He opened his account with a straight drive off Johnston and followed it up by easing Rankin elegantly through the covers. There were occasional moments of uncertainty, with him edging to the slips on the bounce, but he saw off a tense phase following the early dismissals with patience. Though the fours were few and far between, the pair had little difficulty in rotating the strike and gradually pushing their team's score towards respectability. The 107-run partnership came to an end when Stirling induced Shakib to take a risk, and had him caught at long-off.
Siddique continued unperturbed and was supported by the middle and lower-order batsmen towards the three-figure mark. The score Bangladesh managed in the end appeared competitive, but Ireland's domination with the bat meant it was far from it.