Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Tigers Smash Irish Team

Opener Shahriar Nafees and skipper Mohammad Ashraful struck unbeaten half-centuries as Bangladesh crushed Ireland by eight wickets to end their 14-match losing streak in one-day cricket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Tuesday.
After restricting Ireland to a modest 185-7, Bangladesh raced to 186-2 to go one up in the three-match series and in the process avenge their 74-run defeat in the last World Cup.
It was Bangladeshs first win since they defeated the Proteas in the Super Eights of the World Cup. Since then, they played three more games in the World Cup, two against India and three each against Sri Lanka, New Zealand and South Africa and lost all of them.
Shahriar was just 10 runs short of his fifth one-day century when he smashed the winning boundary off off-spinner Alex Cusack through mid-wicket with more than 10 overs to spare.
Shahriar, who did not score a half-century in his last 12 one-day matches since he made an unbeaten 104 against
Bermuda in February 2007, clubbed 11 boundaries for his 121-ball 90.
He shared an unbeaten 130-run partnership with Mohammad Ashraful, the eighth highest for Bangladesh in 170 one-day matches,
for the third wicket in 30.3 overs after the hosts lost the wickets of Tamim Iqbal and Aftab Ahmed.
Ashraful looked more circumspect on his way to 64 not out off 90 balls as he took 13 balls to get off the mark. The under-performing skipper cracked eight boundaries but never went for any airy-fairy shots that often brought about his downfall.
Ashraful came to the crease after fit-again Aftab Ahmed miscued a slower delivery to leave the hosts reeling at 56-2.
The Tigers lost Tamim (13), who lofted a catch at gully to William Porterfield after a promising start. The opening partnership fetched Bangladesh 25 runs in 5.4 overs.
Having won the toss Ireland got off to a sluggish start after man-of-the-match Mashrafee bin Murtaza maintained a probing line and length.
There were only two scoring shots in his opening spell that read 6-4-8-2.
Then the spinners reduced the Irish to 116-6 in 35 overs before a 64-run partner-
ship between Cusack and Johnston gave them some respectability.
Mashrafee dismissed Cusack (38) in the final over to take his third wicket. He could have added another had Tamim not missed a catch offered by the next batsman Langford-Smith two balls later.

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