Ireland looking for improvement in Bangladesh clash

Ireland will face a full-strength Tigers side preparing for Champions Trophy

Well beaten by England at Bristol and Lord’s last week, Ireland will look to get their hosting of the Tri-Nations series off on the right note against Bangladesh in Malahide on Friday morning (10.45am).

A week of good weather is set to give way to more changeable conditions for today’s game and Ireland’s encounter with New Zealand at the same venue on Sunday.

Both sides are using the Tri-Series as part of their preparations for next month’s Champions Trophy in England and Wales and have already played warm-up games this week against the Ireland Wolves.

With no players taking part in the Indian Premier League, Bangladesh arrived in Ireland at full strength and dished out a 199-run defeat to the Wolves at Stormont on Wednesday.


A knock of 86 from hard-hitting opener Tamim Iqbal and a century from Sabbir Rahman helped the Tigers score an impressive 394 for seven against an Ireland attack that included opening bowler Craig Young (one for 82) and off-spinner Andrew McBrine (two for 69). McBrine was dropped down to the 'A' side after failing to start either of the two games in England, with YMCA all-rounder Simi Singh in line to win his first Ireland cap at the age of 30.

Singh, who recently received his Irish citizenship, moved from Mohali in India to play cricket in Ireland as a teenager and has pushed his cause for international inclusion through his performances with Leinster Lightning.

A genuine all-rounder, Singh bats in the middle order and is also a very useful off-spin bowler.

Asked about his call-up this week, Singh said: “Definitely it’s a proud moment. That’s what you work for when you grow up as a kid, to play for your country. That’s why I came to Ireland and it’s a dream come true for me.”

Ireland skipper William Porterfield believes his side have benefited from the games in England.

“We’ve had a good couple of games against England, we improved from game one to game two and we’re looking to take that improvement into tomorrow and look for that win,” he said.

Bangladesh will be without regular captain Mashrafe Mortaza for the opening game due to an over-rate suspension, with Shakib Al Hasan taking over from him.

IRELAND (from): William Porterfield (Captain) (Warwickshire, capt), Andrew Balbirnie (Pembroke/Leinster Lightning), Peter Chase (Malahide/Leinster Lightning), George Dockrell (Leinster/Leinster Lightning), Ed Joyce (Leinster Lightning/Sussex), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Barry McCarthy (Durham/Leinster Lightning), Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union/Leinster Lightning), Niall O'Brien (NW Warriors), Simi Singh (YMCA/Leinster Lightning), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton/NW Warriors), Gary Wilson (Derbyshire/Northern Knights), Craig Young (Bready/NW Warriors).

BANGLADESH (from): Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Mehedi Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wkts), Mustafizur Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Soumya Sarkar, Subashis Roy, Sunzamul Islam, Tamim Iqbal, Taskin Ahmed.

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist