Bangladesh cricket team was taking on hosts Ireland in the opening match of the tri-series, where New Zealand will also feature as the third team. The Tigers will be looking to gain some confidence from a good performance here ahead of the gala event – The Champions Trophy, scheduled to start in England from June 1. Ireland, who are seeking their Test status, will also be keen to prove themselves in front of the Bangladeshi home crowd. This is the eighth ODI between the two sides, where the previous games have yielded some numbers which may surprise many.
Bangladesh, albeit a much stronger side with a better record and lot more enthusiasm about the game, lost the first encounter between them. Both the surprise teams Bangladesh and Ireland, who eliminated India and Pakistan respectively from the first round of ICC World Cup 2007, met in their unlikely second round match at Bridgetown on April 15. Ireland made 243-7 in their allotted 50 overs before they ousted the Tigers from the tournament for just 169 runs in 41.2 overs thanks to their combined bowling effort.
Farhad Reza, who last played an ODI back in 2011, may be the forgotten name in this era but the military medium pacer is the only bowler to have picked up a five-for in the ODIs between these sides. Farhad, who never got more than two wickets in his other 33 matches, got 5-42 in Dhaka on March 20, 2008 to help the Tigers win by 84 runs.
Tamim Iqbal and Shakib al Hasan have played all eight matches against Ireland while the O’Brien brothers, Kevin and Niall, along with William Porterfield have also participated in all the eight ODIs.
Bangladesh also lost their first match on Irish soil against the hosts. On a green-top Belfast pitch, despite a brilliant 100 off 123 from Junaid Siddique, the Bangladeshi team could only make a total of just 234 which the Irish overtook with seven wickets and five overs to spare. Junaid’s century was only the second, and till date, the last by a Bangladeshi against Ireland after Tamim’s 129 in Dhaka in their 2008 meeting. Porterfield, the Irish skipper made 108, making him the only Irish centurion against Bangladesh so far, to lead his side to their second and thus far the last win against the Tigers.
Before today, Bangladesh last played in an ODI match against Ireland back in February 2011 in Dhaka. Bangladesh have faced every other team with the one-day status at least once during this period.
However, the first match of the current series was interrupted in Ireland due to rain. Both teams, although looking to lock horns through a full game, had to settle for sharing the points.