Bangladesh earned an eight-wicket victory over Ireland courtesy an unbeaten 87 from Soumya Sarkar in the fourth One-Day International of the tri-nation series that also involves New Zealand on Friday (May 19).
After dismissing Ireland for just 181 in 46.3 overs, Bangladesh needed only 27.1 overs to chase down the target at Malahide in Dublin.
Sarkar shared an opening stand of 95 in 14 overs with Tamim Iqbal (47), and then 76 for the second wicket with Sabbir Rahman, who hit 35 from 34 balls.
There was one chance when Sarkar edged Peter Chase behind the stumps to Niall O’Brien when he was on 59 but was dropped, and by that stage Bangladesh needed only 60 to win. Kevin O’Brien had earlier taken his 99th ODI wicket when he had Tamim caught behind by his brother.
After scoring only one run in his first two innings of the series, Sabbir made a cautious start but got into his stride and only with the end in sight did he play one shot too many to be caught on the midwicket boundary by George Dockrell off Barry McCarthy.
Earlier, the Bangladesh bowlers set up the easy chase with Mustafizur Rahman taking 4 for 23, backed up by his captain, Mashrafe Mortaza, who took 2 for 18.
Sunzamul Islam, who made his international debut for Bangladesh, also claimed two wickets, his first being Ed Joyce, the Ireland opener, for 46. Joyce missed the first two games of the series with a back injury but he had to play a rearguard innings as he lost three partners in the first 15 overs.
Paul Stirling was caught in the slips off Mustafizur’s third delivery and William Porterfield, the Ireland captain, fell in the ninth over when he was caught and bowled by Mosaddek Hossain for 22.
Surprisingly, Andrew Balbirnie was sent in at No. 4, even though Niall O’Brien had scored a century in Ireland’s last game against New Zealand, and the move failed as Shakib Al Hasan bowled him for 12.
O’Brien again looked comfortable, reaching 30 off 42 balls, but his attempt in hitting a second six was foiled by Tamim holding on to a brilliant catch over his head and just inside the boundary.
When Joyce miscued to the same fielder in the same position in the next over Ireland were 126 for 6 and in danger of not even making the lunch interval.
Dockrell, one of only four players to reach over 20, put up some late resistance with 25 off 50 balls and was only one of four Ireland batsmen to post a score over 20.
But after his dismissal, the Ireland innings lasted only two more balls as Chase give Mushfiqur Rahim his third catch behind the wicket.
The second half of the game proved a formality for Bangladesh, who play New Zealand in their final game on Wednesday.
The series continues on Sunday (May 21) with Ireland’s final game against New Zealand.