Captain Paul Stirling struck 77 runs off 41 balls as Ireland avoided a series sweep with a seven-wicket victory in the third Twenty20 cricket international against Bangladesh on Friday.
Bangladesh was bowled out for 124 in 19.2 overs after choosing to bat first. It recovered from 61-7, thanks to Shamim Hossain’s 42-ball 51. His effort was not enough, however, as Ireland raced to 126-3 in 14 overs.
Stirling dominated the chase, striking 10 fours and four sixes.
“The victory was set up by the bowlers,” Stirling said. “We’ll only improve the more we play.”
Fast bowler Taskin Ahmed broke through early by bowling Ross Adair (7). Pacer Shoriful Islam, one of the two changes for the hosts, had Lorcan Tucker caught by Litton Das for 4.
Those two dismissals couldn’t dent the mood of Stirling as he reached his 22nd T20 50 off 31 balls, with a single through long-off against legspinner Rishad Hossain, who took 1-19 in three overs on debut.
Rishad was the only bowler who managed to curb Stirling’s aggression and eventually dismissed him for his first wicket with Ireland closing in on its first win on Bangladeshi soil.
Harry Tector (14 not out) and Curtis Campher (16 not out) steered the side to victory with the latter pulling Taskin over fine leg for a six.
Pacer Mark Adair finished with 3-25, including the prized wicket of captain Shakib Al Hasan (6), caught at midwicket by a slower delivery.
Campher and Tector joined him to rip through Bangladesh’s top order, dismissing Rony Talukdar(14) and Najmul Hossain Shanto (4).
Legspinner Ben White then turned one sharply to get the better of Towhid Hridoy (12) as Bangladesh was reduced to 41-5.
“We didn’t bat well, kept on losing wickets but that happens with the way we want to play our cricket. Don’t want to change our (aggressive) approach,” Shakib said. “If we want to be a very good team, that’s the way we have to play. Might fail in some games but that doesn’t matter.”
Shamim resisted but debutant left-arm spinner Matthew Humphreys (2-10) put Bangladesh in further trouble with a double blow in his first over. He removed Rishad for his debut wicket on his first delivery and dismissed Taskin Ahmed for a duck.
Shamim and Nasum Ahmed (13) put on 33 runs for the eighth wicket. Legspinner Gareth Delany broke the partnership before Shamim was the last man out.
Bangladesh won the series opener by 22 runs and the second game by 77 runs.
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