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Irish struggles continue with Blackcaps set to pile on woe

By Ian Callender

Ireland's first victory on home soil against a top-eight side looks as far away as ever as Bangladesh romped to an eight-wickets win in the fourth match of the one-day international Tri-series.

Ireland's final game is against New Zealand, back here at Malahide tomorrow (10.45am), but with the Blackcaps having already comfortably beaten the Tigers in the series, that looks like a game too soon for this Ireland side, badly lacking in confidence.

It was never going to be easy early on having been put in to bat with moisture on the pitch, but apart from Paul Stirling all the top five got in only to surrender their wickets in the tamest of fashion.

When Ed Joyce - back in the team at the expense of Simi Singh - miscued to long-on, four short of his half century, Ireland were 126 for five and, in the absence of genuine all-rounders in the lower order, it was no surprise to see them bowled out inside 47 overs for 181.

Bangladesh almost laughed at that inadequate total and partnerships of 95 and 76 for the first two wickets at seven runs an over ensured victory with almost 23 overs to spare.

Peter Chase again bowled with good pace, but he sent down too many 'four balls', although he was the unlucky bowler when Niall O'Brien failed to hold on to a low catch in front of first slip giving opener Soumya Sarkar a life on 57. He finished on 87 not out.

O'Brien did take a catch, a regulation one to dismiss Tamim Iqbal, to give his brother Kevin his 99th ODI wicket, but the rest of the bowlers never threatened.

Barry McCarthy took the other wicket, but not until the Tigers were within 11 of victory, and it came after he had been hit for two fours in the over. The 23rd boundary of the innings won the game.

In contrast, Ireland had the grand total of 13 in an innings which lasted 20 overs longer. Not one batsman managed more than four - captain William Porterfield hitting three fours and a six in hi­s 25-ball innings, but that was the only period when Bangladesh were under pressure.

Even during the 55-runs stand between Joyce and Niall O'Brien, it was a case of rebuilding for Ireland after the loss of three for 61, although it was a shock to see Andrew Balbirnie walking out at No.4, just four days after Niall O'Brien had scored a century at No.3.

Balbirnie will certainly be around for longer than O'Brien, nine years his senior, but Ireland need every advantage they can get in this difficult run of matches, and in-form batsmen need to be in the middle for as long as possible.

Joyce was always going to return as opener, but the loss of Stirling, caught at wide slip from his third ball, was not the start this side either needed or wanted, and as a result Ireland's best batsman had to play a rearguard innings rather than treat the sparse crowd on a sunny morning to the full array of his strokes. Only three of his 74 deliveries reached the boundary.

As for tomorrow, it could well be damage limitation for Ireland against a Blackcaps side with two convincing wins under their belts.

Scoreboard

Ireland

E Joyce c Tamim b Sunzamul 46

P Stirling c Sabbir b Mustafizur 0

W Porterfield c and Mosaddek 22

A Balbirnie b Shakib Al Hasan 12

N O'Brien c Tamim b Mustafizur 30

K O'Brien c Mosaddek b Mustafizur 10

G Wilson c Mushfiqur b Mustafizur 6

G Dockrell c Mushfiqur b Mortaza 25

B McCarthy lbw b Sunzamul 12

T Murtagh not out 5

P Chase c Mushfiqur Rahim b Mashrafe Mortaza 0

Extras (1b 4lb 8w) 13

Total (46.3 overs) 181

Fall: 1-0 2-37 3-61 4-116 5-126 6-134 7-136 8-171 9-180

Bowling: Rubel Hossain 8-1-41-0, Mustafizur Rahman 9-2-23-4, Mashrafe Mortaza 6.3-1-18-2, Mosaddek Hossain 6-0-21-1, Shakib Al Hasan 9-0-38-1, Mahmudullah 3-0-13-0, Sunzamul Islam 5-0-22-2

Bangladesh

Tamim Iqbal c N O'Brien b K O'Brien 47

Soumya Sarkar not out 87

Sabbir Rahman c Dockrell b McCarthy 35

Mushfiqur Rahim not out 3

Extras (3lb 7w) 10

Total (2 wkts, 27.1 overs) 182

Fall: 1-95 2-171

Did not bat: Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Sunzamul Islam, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain

Bowling: P Chase 7-0-55-0, T Murtagh 5-0-26-0, B McCarthy 4-0-42-1, P Stirling 2-0-14-0, K O'Brien 5.1-0-22-1, G Dockrell 4-0-20-0

Bangladesh won by eight wickets

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