Bangladesh spinners clinch Twenty20 win over Ireland
|First Twenty20 international, Belfast:|
|Bangladesh 190-5 (20 overs) beat Ireland 119-8 (20 overs) by 71 runs|
Bangladesh hammered Ireland by 71 runs in the first Twenty20 international in Belfast, with spinner Elias Sunny's five for 13 the star performance.
Chasing 191 to win, Ireland stumbled to 119 for eight from their 20 overs as they could not handle the left arm spin of the relatively unknown 26-year-old.
Shakib Al Hasan hit 71 for Bangladesh with Ziaur Rahman smashing five sixes in his 40 not out.
The teams meet again at the same venue on Friday and Saturday.
After losing the toss and being put in by Ireland, it was slow going early on for the visitors as Tamim Iqbal and opening partner Mohammed Ashraful struggled to find the boundary, having to settle for ones and twos.
With the score on 34 without loss in the fourth over, Ashraful decided to up the tempo smashing a slower ball from first change bowler Max Sorensen through point for four.
However, the South African-born medium bowler got his revenge the next delivery as the former skipper's attempted drive rattled into the stumps via an inside edge.
New man in Shakib hit four boundaries in five balls to inject some life into the innings at the end of the seventh over and into the eighth.
Two more fours off Boyd Rankin two overs later pushed Bangladesh to 93 for one at the end of the 11th, but the Tigers lost Iqbal next over for a run a ball 31. John Mooney took the catch, falling backwards at long on, with the opener looking to smash Paul Stirling for a maximum.
Shakib kept the scoreboard ticking along, but his entertaining knock came to an end with the first ball of the 13th over as, waltzing down the wicket to Stirling, the ball turned and clattered into the stumps.
Wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim went the next over, mis-timing a Boyd short ball to William Porterfield at mid-wicket.
However, the Tigers fought back with some force as they hit four sixes in four balls as Stirling was twice smacked into the stands by number six Rahman while Mahmudullah repeated the trick with the first two deliveries of the next over off the bowling of Sorensen.
The 26-year-old, however, gained revenge with the last ball of the over as the allrounder was caught by Stirling to leave the visitors 154 for five.
Rahman was in no mood to let up, hitting maximums off Trent Johnson in the 17th and Sorensen in the 18th to move to 30 from just 13 balls, while a six off the penultimate delivery off Alex Cusack helped propel his side to a useful-looking 190 for five.
Porterfield kept those in the crowd ducking for cover, hitting over the rope twice in the first two overs, adding two more fours for good measure.
His bright and breezy knock was soon to end as, coming down the wicket to Abdur Razzak, he missed the ball and was stumped by Rahim for 26 from 16 balls.
They were two down four balls later as danger man Stirling - who had an impressive Twenty20 campaign for Middlesex - was run out thanks to a direct hit from mid-off.
Niall O'Brian and Ed Joyce departed in consecutive balls in the eighth over off Elias Sunny, the latter going first, pulling to Ashraful, before the former was stumped by Rahim.
It signalled a collapse for the hosts as Kevin O'Brien was bowled by Razzak for a duck before Mooney was bowled by Sunny.
Ireland were 64 for seven when Cusack was bowled to become Sunny's fourth victim and Johnson lasted just five balls as Razzak caught the former skipper to give Sunny his fifth victim.
Gary Wilson's impressive unbeaten knock of 41 from 36 balls meant the Irish avoided a humiliating scoreline, however the hosts will be hopeful of a better performance when the two face off again on Friday.