Sports, Cricket

Tigers out to dominate Ireland

Published : 13 May 2023 08:45 PM

Tigers are determined to keep their winning spree to further bolster their confidence as they take on Ireland in the third and final ODI on Sunday at County Ground in Chelmsford, England.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the series as they pulled off the heist, chasing down a 320-run target for a three-wicket victory in the second game after the first match was washed out due to rain.

The manner in which they won the second game will give them a confidence further to cope with the style of modern cricket. Bangladesh were talking about chasing or posting runs closer to 350-run for some days to fulfill the demand of cricket that changed completely at the advent of T20 cricket.

They faced a hiccup, losing two openers cheaply but still kept belief in their ability to chase down the target. And to their delight, they found hero in Najmul Hossain Shanto and Towhid Hridoy who shared 131-run for the fourth wicket to set the platform of the victory.

That the two youngsters brought the victory is particularly delighting to see, considering Bangladesh are believed to be over relied on their senior cricketers. Though, senior players' experience came handy. Shakib Al Hasan made 31 and repaired the initial damage with 61-run with Shanto and Mushfiqur Rahim who hammered 28 ball-36 not out towards the end to help Bangladesh race to the victory.

But the most satisfying factor was to see Shanto to come of age. Touting as one of the best young players, Shanto failed to live up to the expectation on most of the occasion but on a day when it mattered most, he delivered to give Bangladesh an exciting victory.

"I was not thinking about getting hundred. I just watched the ball and play and I know if I can bat properly I can get hundred.

I am very happy because it was my first one-day hundred and the way I wanted to bat I batted. But I felt if I could finish the game it would have been made me more happy," Shanto said after the match.

"The selectors and the coaching staff that includes the previous ones like Russell (Domingo) gave me opportunity to play lot of matches and it helped. I am thankful to them that they had that trust on me but still long way to go because I feel I just played well in couple of innings and if I can continue(in this manner) it is good for me and my team," he said.

Shanto who brought up his maiden ODI ton in his 23 ODIs himself gave the credit to Towhid Hridoy who made his debut in the last home series against this opponent.

"The way Hridoy batted after coming to the wicket and the intent that he showed, it helped my batting and he never looked nervous. The partnership that we made and we wanted to play as per the requirement, and the important thing is that we are not thinking about the outcome and just try to play our natural game," he added.

Bangladesh now will be looking to make it 2-0 to keep the winning spree against Ireland, said Shanto.

Ireland in fact have never beaten Bangladesh in ODIs since 2010. Of the 15 ODI matches between the two sides, Bangladesh won 10 and lost just two while three matches were washed out.

Ireland won the maiden encounter between the two sides in 2007 ODI World Cup in Bridgetown, West Indies but last time they beat Bangladesh in ODI cricket in 2010 at Belfast.