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Ireland upset Bangladesh, book place in Super 8

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ireland_win.jpgIreland pulled off a minor upset in the ICC T20 World Cup on Monday, comprehensively beating Bangladesh by 6 wickets at Trent Bridge, Nottingham with 10 balls to spare.

Ireland will be indebted to the batting prowess of the O'Brien brothers - Niall and Kevin - who set up the win by scoring more than half the target of 138 betwen them. Earlier in the day 35-year old medium pacer David Trent Johnsto n did the damage for Ireland picking up three key top order wickets. The rest of the bowlers chipped in with a wicket apiece to restrict Bangladesh to just 137 from their 20 overs.

Ireland won the toss and elected to field first against an attacking Bangladeshi batting line up. Boyd Rankin opened the bowling for Ireland and the tall pacer was greeted with two fours by Zunaed Siddique. Siddique then flicked Johnston for a boundary before being out caught for 13 from 5 balls, in the same over. Rankin then bowled a tight over which saw just 6 runs coming off it which was followed by a brilliant second over by Johnston which conceded just a single, and saw Mohammad Ashraful get a reprieve, dropped by Kevin O'Brien at first slip. Ashraful then got stuck into Rankin's third over hammering him for a four and a six. Johnston got his reward for his fine bowling with Ashraful repeating his shot from the previous over, with O'Brien this time holding on to the catch. Bangladesh were 42-2 at the end of six overs.

The Bangladeshi batsmen showed their lack of quality experience as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Shakib Al Hasan who had just played a brilliant shot for four was out in the 8th over to give Johnston his third wicket. Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal, the steadying influence in the Bangladesh ranks was playing nicely for his team, before being run out in comical fashion for 22. It got worse for Bangladesh when Mahmudallah was out stumped for 7 to leave his team reeling at 67 for 5.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Raqibul Hasan then got together to steer the ship with ones and twos. The duo were unable to find any boundaries as Bangladesh ended their 15th over with the score at 89-5. Hasan then tried to up the tempo but found his stumps shattered by McCallan for 13. Bangladesh were looking completely out of sorts and were meandering aimlessly towards a paltry score. Rahim was sent packing in the next over for 14 by West, caught at long-off.

At 99-7 with just 3 overs left to play Mashrafe Mortaza played a much needed cameo as he clobbered two sixes and a four in his 16 ball innings of 33, including 20 off the final over bowled by Alex Cusack. This helped Bangladesh to post a score of 137 which seemed 20 short of a match winning one but atleast it gave their bowlers something to bowl at.


A red hot Mortaza, fresh from his blitz with the bat charged in to open the bowling for Bangladesh. The sub-continental minnows had the perfect start conceding just 8 runs from the first three overs, with Mortaza also picking up the wicket of Jeremy Bray, caught at short cover for just 2 from 10 balls.

Niall O'Brien came in to replace Bray, and he got stuck into the bowling straight away. He began his assault on young quickie Robel Hossain who he spanked for a couple of boundaries in the 4th over. O'Brien then made a complete mess of Mortaza's bowling figures, hitting the Bangladeshi vice-captain for three sixes in the 5th over.

Off-spinner Mohammad Mahmudullah was entrusted with the responsibility of slowing the stem of runs, but O'Brien continued to take his chances, collecting another couple of boundaries to motor on to 36 from 17 deliveries. His team had won the first six overs, collecting 47 from the powerplays, leaving them with just 91 more to win from 84 balls.

With the field well spread, and singles now available, O'Brien changed track, trying to pick up singles instead. Bangladesh kept things tight however conceding just 11 from 3 overs. O'Brien felt the need to try and push things along again, but ended up finding the fielder at long-off, Shakib picking up the crucial wicket.

Porterfield and Wilson were both dismissed a few overs later as the asking rate headed due-north once again. In strolled Niall's younger brother Kevin, and in almost identical fashion took the game away from Bangladesh. From the over in which he arrived at the crease, Kevin O'Brien collected a boundary or better per over.

Bangladesh desperate to avoid elimination at the first stage of the competition threw everything they had at the 25-year old, but his innings of 39 from 17 balls including 4 fours and 2 sixes took Ireland to a famous win. O'Brien was well assisted by John Mooney, who did brilliantly to rotate the strike at critical junctures, and shared a match winning partnership of 49 for the fifth wicket to take Ireland home.

Ireland next take on the mighty Indians in a dead rubber on Wednesday, and they may just have a chance of upsetting the apple cart should India attempt to give some of their fringe players a chance, after a long and exhuasting Premier League season in South Africa.


Mini Scorecard:

Bangladesh 137/8 (20 overs)
Mortaza 33              Johnston 3-20

Ireland 138/4 (18.2 overs)
N O'Brien 40            Mortaza 2-30

Man of the Match: Niall O'Brien

File Photograph Copyright: ICC

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