Soumya Sarkar struck an unbeaten half-century as Bangladesh crushed Ireland by eight wickets in their crucial tri-series match at the Malahide Cricket Club Ground in Dublin on Friday.
Set 182 runs to win, Bangladesh raced to their target in 27.1 overs thanks to Soumya’s unbeaten 87 off 68 balls, which included 11 fours and two sixes.
Soumya shared 95 runs in the opening stand with Tamim Iqbal, who continued his prolific form to make 47 off 54 balls and lay the foundation for simple win.
Tamim missed out a deserving half-century edging Kevin O’Brien to his wicketkeeper brother Niall O’Brien but Sabbir Rahman ensured there was further hiccup in Bangladesh’s innings.
Sabbir, who failed to reach double figure in his previous three innings, kept giving Soumya a good company as the duo added 76 runs for the second wicket to take Bangladesh close.
As Bangladesh were preparing to celebrate their win, Sabbir fell to Barry McArthy with an awkward shot after making 35 off 34 balls.
After Soumya took the score level with a four, Mushfiqur Rahim completed the win with a single in the next over, earning Bangladesh four points from the match.
Man-of-the-match Mustafizur Rahman set up the win with 4-23 as Bangladesh dominated the game from the very beginning ever since skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza won the toss and elected to bowl.
Spinners also backed pacers as debutant Sanjamul Islam picked up two wickets while Mosaddek Hossain, Sakib al Hasan each claimed a wicket to put Bangladesh on top.
Mustafiz made the first breakthrough when he had Paul Sterling caught by Sabbir at slip for a duck in his first over.
Mosaddek took a return catch of William Porterfield (22) having dropped the same batsman at extra-cover in the previous over off Mashrafee.
Sakib bowled Andy Balbirine but Ed Joyce and Niall O’Brien put 55 runs for the third wicket to help Ireland revive the innings.
Before the pair took the game out of control, Mustafiz struck in his third spell as he removed Niall for 30 with Tamim taking the catch at third man.
Sanjamul, who replaced Mehedi Hasan in Bangladesh’s only change from the previous game, struck in his first over making Joyce, who made 46 off 74 balls, Tamim’s second catch of the day.
Mustafiz then removed Kevin (10) and Gary Wilson (6) in back-to-back overs to leave Ireland struggling at 136-7.
George Dockrel and Barry McCarthy put 35 runs for the eighth wicket to give Ireland innings some respectably before Sanjamul trapped the latter in front to break their resistance.
Mashrafee dismissed Dockrel for 25 before he ended Ireland innings in the same over to finish with 2-18.
Bangladesh will play their last match of the tournament against New Zealand on May 24.
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