Sports Desk: Bangladesh will take confidence from their clinical performance against West Indies when they take on Ireland in their second match of the tri-nation one-day international tournament at the Malahide ground in Dublin today.
The match will start at 3:45pm Bangladesh Standard Time and will be televised live by GTV and Maasranga TV.
The Tigers could not have expected to start the tournament in a better way than with an eight-wicket win over West Indies in their Tuesday’s opening game at the caste avenue.
Bangladesh's eight-wicket win over West Indies in their tri-series opener was the kind of all-round performance most captains and coaches prefer, and Mashrafe Mortaza and Steven Rhodes would think the same. But, given their indifferent results away from home in the last few years, Bangladesh are aware that even a lesser-known opposition, particularly with a home advantage, can be a handful. They are, therefore, unlikely to take Ireland lightly.
The eight-wicket win over West Indies was led by a good fightback by the Bangladesh bowlers, who took the last seven wickets for 56 runs. Mashrafe Mortaza got crucial wickets in his final spell, while Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz helped Bangladesh control the middle overs. The 144-run opening stand between Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar then set up the 262-run chase, before Shakib ran hard and struck the ball well to complete the win.
Against Ireland, Bangladesh will hope their bowling can come together again, particularly Mustafizur Rahman, who has conceded 93 and 84 in his last two ODIs.
Ireland, meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back from successive ODI losses, to England and then West Indies. There was little they could do against Shai Hope and John Campbell's massive opening stand in the tri-series opener, but against England they did show some fight. The hosts would, however, be a little worried about their batting form, with scores of under 200 in both matches. William Porterfield and Paul Stirling will be tasked with giving them another good start while Andy Balbirnie, their top-scorer in 2019 so far, Kevin O'Brien and Gary Wilson add experience to their middle-order.
They could once again play five bowlers, with George Dockrell as the lone spinner. They may choose to go with a bit more pace in their line-up although the Malahide pitches would also suit seamers who can move the ball in the air. Barry McCarthy and Tim Murtagh have taken 13 and 11 wickets at this venue.
risingbd/Dhaka/May 9, 2019/Mukul