BAN vs IRE, 1st ODI: Preview, Pitch Report, Live Score, Cricket Exchange Fantasy Tips
Bangladesh won a historic series against England (AP Photo)
It's a 50-over World Cup year and the ODI format has once again taken the centerstage with World Cup qualification heating up. It is time now for Bangladesh to host Ireland in a three-match ODI series that is not part of a World Cup Super League but still holds a crucial value as the conditions in India later in the year for the World Cup might be pretty similar to what we will have here in Bangladesh.
It's a rivalry that has grown in stature over the years and these two teams have been part of some memorable battles over the course of last decade. However, these are home conditions for Bangladesh and they surely are the favourites going into this series. Overall too, Bangladesh have taken an upper hand in this rivalry by winning 7 of the 9 completed games between the two sides.
Bangladesh are coming into this series with a loss against England but overall they have been pretty dominant at home. They outplayed India by a 2-1 margin not long ago and expect them to make it difficult for the Irish with their spin heavy attack.
Bangladesh have a solid batting line-up with the experienced trio of Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim forming the core of the batting line-up. However, the biggest positive that has emerged in recent times from the Bangladesh point of view is that the next generation of players like Litton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto and Afif Hossain have also started taking more responsibility. Towhid Hridoy might also get a look in with Mahmudullah not part of the squad and it would be interesting to see how the young man goes about his business.
On the bowling front, Bangladesh have almost all bases covered especially for their home conditions. They would most likey operate with three spinners, Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Nasum Ahmed while their pace attack have quality with great blend of pace and variations with the likes of Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman leading the pack.
The Irish, on the other hand, will have their task cut out. They have notched up some good performances in recent times but they need to be at their best against spin to win here. The experienced pair of Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirnie need to shoulder the responsibility of guiding the youngsters through but it all depends on how the Irish middle order bats against the spin attack of Bangladesh in the middle overs.
Harry Tector is growing in stature in world cricket and so is Curtis Campher and Ireland would be silenty confident of their chances after winning the practice game against the BCB XI. Campher was brilliant with the bat in that game while the Irish spinners, Andy McBrine and Gareth Delany also had a good game. If Irish batters can bat with composure and put up good scores on the board, we might see them pushing Bangladesh hard here.
Date and Time: March 18, 1:30 PM IST
Venue: Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, Sylhet
Live Streaming/Telecast: FanCode App
Sylhet is generally a good batting deck but it is not a batting paradise by any stretch of imagination and bowlers too have their say here. Batting first has been a preferred choice on this ground and chasing has been pretty difficult. So, we can expect spinners to get into the game especially in the second half but if the batters are ready to apply themselves, they can put up a good score on the board.
BAN: Tamim Iqbal, Litton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Towhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Afif Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, Taskin Ahmed, and Mustafizur Rahman.
IRE: Stephen Doheny, Paul Stirling, Andrew Balbirnie, Harry Tector, Curtis Campher, George Dockrell, Lorcan Tucker, Gareth Delany, Andy McBrine, Mark Adair, and Graham Hume.
Cricket Exchange Fantasy Tips
Keeper: Litton Das
Batters: Paul Stirling, Tamim Iqbal, Harry Tector, Najmul Hossain Shanto
All-rounders: Shakib Al Hasan, Curtis Campher, Mehidy Hasan Miraz
Bowlers: Taskin Ahmed, Mark Adair, Nasum Ahmed
Captain: Shakib Al Hasan
Vice-captain: Litton Das
Bangladesh would start as favourites and if they bat first, they could make things very difficult for the Irish batters in the second half with spin coming into play. For Ireland to win, they need their batters to step up and get some big runs but overall Bangladesh have the better arsenal to start the series with a win.