Ireland’s commanding first tour win over Bangladesh gives bounce ahead of Test Match
March 31st 2023 by Wisden | International
CHATTOGRAM, Bangladesh - Paul Stirling and Matthew Humphreys starred to give Ireland a seven-wicket victory in their final white-ball match in Bangladesh.
Humphreys took two wickets in his first three balls on T20I debut as Ireland bowled Bangladesh out for 124. In a standout performance with the ball, all seven of Ireland’s bowlers contributed to the wicket tally, Bangladesh falling four balls short of batting their 20 overs.
Paul Stirling then knocked off the bulk of the runs with the bat, scoring 77 off 41 as Ireland chased down their target with six overs to spare. The result was Ireland’s first-ever win over Bangladesh on home soil - a significant turnaround on a white-ball tour in which the hosts have dominated with bat and ball.
In stark contrast to the fast starts made in the first two matches of the series, Bangladesh capitulated in the powerplay having elected to bat first. Looking to be aggressive up front once more, four out of the first five wickets to fall were caught in the deep on the leg side as the batters looked to clear the rope.
Litton Das picked out George Dockrell on the boundary off Mark Adair’s first ball, and Harry Tector struck at the end of the next over to dismiss Najmul Hossain Shanto. After he juggled the catch off Shanto in the deep - nearly dropping it before clinging on with his second grab - Curtis Campher joined the wicket-taking ranks by dismissing Rony Talukdar, leaving Bangladesh 24-3 at the end of the fourth over.
Let’s take a look at how we brought up the win! pic.twitter.com/GDdSFNLde0— Cricket Ireland (@cricketireland) March 31, 2023
Despite a short boundary blitz from Towhid Hridoy, the wickets continued to tumble. Mark Adair picked up his second with the penultimate ball of the powerplay, Shakib Al Hasan playing a loose shot to give Ben White a dolly at midwicket before White got in on the act himself. He dismissed Hridoy looking to continue his attack, Tector taking another easy catch.
Humphreys stole the bowling show, however, sending down a memorable first over in T20I cricket. He cleaned up fellow T20I debutant Rishad Hossain with his first delivery - the 25th bowler in history to take a wicket with the first ball of their T20I career - the ball cannoning into leg stump as Hridoy looked to heave over long-on. He struck again two balls later to dismiss Taskin Ahmed, caught at deep midwicket once again by Campher and finished his first over with figures of 2-3.
Humphreys’ over marked the halfway point in Bangladesh’s innings, with the hosts in an unfamiliar position in the series at 64-7. A steady maiden T20I half-century off 40 balls from Shamim Hossain dragged the hosts past the three-figure mark. He was the final batter to fall, giving a catch to backward square-leg off Fionn Hand to ensure all seven of Ireland’s bowlers had a mark in the wickets column.
Set 125 to chase, Paul Stirling led the march to a well-deserved victory. Despite the loss of Ross Adair and Lorcan Tucker in the powerplay, he powered Ireland forward, hitting five boundaries in the first six overs of the innings.
He reached his 22nd T20I half-century off 31 balls before unleashing a flurry of boundaries to accelerate towards the target. Shoriful Islam was hit for four consecutive boundaries by Stirling immediately after he reached his fifty, starting with a huge six over fine leg before he scooped a full ball for four over the same boundary.
Stirling was finally dismissed going for another maximum down the ground, caught in the deep by Shanto off Rishad Hossain, but the damage had already been done. Campher finished the match with a six to complete a dominant victory for Ireland.
Having lost the T20I series 2-1, the only Test match of the tour will begin next week on Tuesday, 4 April in Dhaka.
Bangladesh v Ireland, 3rd T20I, Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chattogram, 31 March 2023
Bangladesh 124 (19.2 overs; Shamim Hossain 51, Rony Talukdar 14, Mark Adair 3-25)
Ireland 126—3 (14 overs; Paul Stirling 77, Curtis Campher 16, Rishad Hossain 1-19)
Ireland won by seven wickets
Paul Stirling talks after today’s match pic.twitter.com/azdriT0lgn— Cricket Ireland (@cricketireland) March 31, 2023