Cricket Twenty20 International 29 March 2023
Bangladesh vs Ireland - Match Preview
Ireland’s tour of Bangladesh is becoming one they may wish to forget in a hurry. They suffered two heavy defeats in their recent 0-2 ODI series and have now started their three-match T20I series with a 22-run DLS defeat after the rains poured more misery upon them. Thankfully, the weather is set fair for match two of the series on Wednesday where again the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram will play the hosts. This should give the visitors a more equitable opportunity to level the series and close the gap in the overall 1-4 H2H register.
Being asked to bat first, Bangladesh posted their third-highest T20I score of 207/5, with Rony Talukdar finding some decent form upon his long-awaited return to the national team top scoring with 67 from 38 balls. IPL draftee and fellow opener Liton Das was next best with a quickfire 47 from 23 balls. With four balls remaining in the innings the rains came and the players were called off. With the ball, the DLS algorithm calculated that Ireland would have to score 104 from just eight overs. After a decent start by the Irish openers, captain Shakib brought Taskin Ahmed into the attack's second change and he all but put the match to bed with three wickets from his first four balls, taking the visitors from 37-1 off 3.0 overs to 40-4 of 3.5. They say it’s a batters’ game and so it seems as Talukdar controversially won the ‘Player of the Match award‘ ahead of Taskin.
That win in the first T20I was the Tigers’ fourth in a row and there's sixth from their last nine matches, whilst success on Wednesday will make it their third series win from four including their most recent 3-0 clean sweep over England. Head coach Chandika Hathurusingha may look to bring in uncapped top order batter Jaker Ali to replace Taludkar who left the field in the Irish innings with a shoulder injury.
Ireland is yet to chalk up a win on this tour, as the only thing they seem capable of winning is the toss. For this series regular captain Andy Balbirnie has relinquished the reins to his deputy Paul Stirling to be rested as part of a player rotation policy. It wouldn’t have been too far into Bangladesh’s innings before Stirling, who had skippered Ireland in six previous T20Is back in 2019 (W2, L4) would have remembered just how difficult a job it is. His bowlers paid the price for delivering far too many poor balls, including the returning right-arm quick Craig Young (4-0-45-2) who had previously taken 55 wickets. The less said about the others, the better.
That defeat on Monday was Ireland’s sixth from their last eight matches and a loss on Wednesday would make it their seventh series without a win (D3, L4). After such a poor effort by all six bowlers used by Stirling on Monday, head coach Heinrich Malan may give bench-warming seamer Conor Olphert an opportunity to take his maiden T20I wicket after drawing a blank from his first two matches.
📋 Players to watch: Bangladeshi top-order batter Najmul Hossain Shanto is in a rich vein of form in white-ball formats. He has made three ODI fifties from his last five innings, albeit his short innings of 14 off 15 balls in the first match snapped a string of four consecutive T20I scores of 46* plus including two half-centuries.
Right-arm Seamer Graham Hume was Ireland’s leading wicket-taker in the recent ODI series, aggregating figures of 7/133 off his 23 overs bowled. His wicket of Taludkar was his fourth in just three T20I matches, having previously taken 3/17 in his one outing against Zimbabwe.
⚡ Stat attack: The average first innings score in Chattogram is 146.
- Just one of the eight first innings scores of 160+ in Chattogram were successfully chased.
- Seven of the eight first innings scores of 160+ in Chattogram were winning ones.
- The last three uninterrupted T20Is played at this venue have been won by the team batting second
- In each of Chattogram’s five T20Is since 2019, the top score of the match was worth between 62 and 71 runs.
- Seamer Taskin Ahmed has failed to take a wicket just twice in his last nine T20I innings.
- Graham Hume has dismissed Shakib Al Hasan twice from 12 balls for seven runs scored on this tour.
- After his 20no in the previous game, Shakib Al Hasan has been dismissed in just four of his eight T20I innings in Chattogram, averaging 60.75 at 9.17rpo.
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