• Thursday, July 24, 2014

The luck of the Irish

Al-Amin

After Bangladesh's empathic win against Afghanistan the other day, it was Zimbabwe's turn to cross their major first-round hurdle against Ireland at Sylhet yesterday. But they stooped to a three-wicket defeat and perhaps it is now the Irish instead of the Zimbabweans who are on course to win the lone Super Ten berth from Group B. Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor will rue that missed run-out chance for a long time as it would have given his side a chance to tie the game and settle the issue in a Super over. There was little difference between the sides on the field and an off day from Zimbabwe's spin spearhead Prosper Utseya eventually proved costly. The otherwise miserly tweaker offered too much flight at the wrong time and perhaps on a wrong wicket that gave Ireland a confident start with Paul Stirling and William Porterfield building a perfect launch pad. Kevin O'Brien -- the big hitter in the Irish ranks -- played his part in the end overs. But he should have been there till the end instead of playing for the spectators. The match was also a debut for the newly-built Sylhet Stadium as a purpose-built international venue. Although the pitch was on the slower side, unlike Chittagong and Mirpur it promises a lot of runs. The grass bank is a striking edition other than the lush green outfield. A huge number of cricket fans turned up just to show how passionate Bangladeshi people are. The only disappointment was a power failure during the Zimbabwe innings. Although the sun was blazing, the power failure was noticed when the third umpire's green light was not working. The decision was relayed through an alternate device and the game progressed without further interruption. The power was interrupted for half an hour and had it happened at night it could have been embarrassing. This is not the first instance. Earlier, the Chittagong venue also had the same problem during a practice game on March 12 -- not a good advertisement.

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, March 18, 2014

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