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Asia Cup 2012


Bangladesh hold nerve to clinch series

20 July 2012

A spirited display from Ireland after their opening match debacle wasn't enough to prevent Bangladesh from winning the second match of T20 series as the tourists were the better side by just 1 runs at Stormont in Belfast today. Ireland was well on course to overhaul Bangladesh's modest 146 in 20 overs, but two intelligent overs from off spinner Mahmudullah ensured Bangladesh maintain their 100% winning record in their Europe tour. Mahmudullah conceded only 4 runs in the 18th over and took 2 wickets in 20th over to restrict Ireland to 145. Bangladesh has now taken an winning 2-0 lead in the series with the third match to be played on the same venue on Saturday. 

Bangladesh opted to bat first after winning the toss and struggled to get going as their openers could only manage 12 runs in 3.3 overs before Johnston ended the misery of Tamim Iqbal who went for a 9 ball duck. Ireland picked first match start Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim in quick succession and reduced Bangladesh to 61 for 4 at the halfway stage. 

Mohammad Ashraful watched the procession of the batsmen at the other end played an uncharacteristic 46 ball 38 to anchor the Bangladesh innings. He was well supported by young Nasir Hossain who played a classy 33 ball 50 to score his maiden half century in the shortest version of international cricket. Nasir guided Bangladesh to a competitive 146 which at the end was enough to hang on to a 1 run win. 

Ireland started their reply well through some entertaining stroke play by skipper William Porterfield and young Paul Stirling. Bangladesh found their way back into the game when Porterfield was run out by Nasir Hossain and Stirling was bowled by an impressive Elias Sunny who continued to weave his magic around Irish batsmen. Ed Joyce (44 ball 41)  and Gary Wilson (27 ball 37) kept Ireland well on course to victory, but at the end two overs from Mahmudullah proved decisive.

Ireland needed 10 runs to win from the final overs with 5 wickets in hand, but they could only manage 8 runs which included a last ball six from veteran Trent Johnston who watched the turnaround in the previous two deliveries from the dressing room as they lost Poynter and Joyce to Mahmudullah. 



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