/ Cricket

Ireland beat Bangladesh by five runs in final warm-up match for World Twenty20.

Updated: Friday, 28 Sep 2012 13:20 | Comments

Paul Stirling set the Irish on their way in Colombo
Paul Stirling set the Irish on their way in Colombo

Ireland completed their World Twenty20 preparations with a tight five-run win over Bangladesh in Colombo.

Having seen off Zimbabwe last weekend, William Porterfield's side got the better of a higher-class of opposition, successfully defending their 164 for six.

A thrilling 71 from just 41 balls by opener Paul Stirling was the highlight of their innings. Ed Joyce chipped in with a more considered 39 to boost the total further and, despite a knock of 52 from Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh were unable to reach their target.

The occasional spin of Kevin O'Brien (three for 24) eventually put the skids on their charge, which originally looked as though it would be in pursuit of a higher score when Ireland rattled off 40 runs in the first four overs.

Porterfield was the first man to go as he was run out with the score on 46, with Stirling and Joyce then sharing a second-wicket stand of 64 before the latter was castled by Elias Sunny.

Joyce carried on the charge before being snared by Mashrafe Mortaza who ended with two for 33, as Ireland were unable to open their shoulders over the closing stages of their overs.

Bangladesh's response saw them lose Mohammad Ashraful early on for seven, before a quickfire stand of 63 between Tamim Iqbal and Shakib got them motoring.

But Tamim (35) offered a return catch to Alex Cusack and then Shakib lost his wicket to Nigel Jones as the wheels started to come off.

O'Brien then took three wickets in two overs to really put Ireland in command and, although Ziaur Rahman weighed in with a breezy 26, it was not enough and Bangladesh ended just short on 159 for nine.

Speaking after the game, a clearly delighted Paul Stirling said: "It's always nice to score a few runs which gives you confidence going into the tournament proper, so hopefully I'm peaking at the right time. We're playing great cricket as a team at the minute and it's a fantastic achievement to get four wins out of four and a massive confidence boost for the lads."

Was Stirling thinking of emulating Garfield Sobers, Ravi Shastri, Herschelle Gibbs and Yuvraj Singh by hitting six sixes in an over? "I was thinking of it after the first one but it didn't come off!"

On the Irish fightback to get the win, Stirling added:"We've a great team ethic and spirit, and we never know when we're beaten. They were heavy favourites today going into the final ten overs, but we managed to claw it back getting wickets at vital times.

"We managed to scrape through although I was always confident when they needed ten from the final over with Trent (Johnston) in control." 

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Powered by NewsWhip