Tigers on song | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 21, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 21, 2008

Ispahani Tea ODI series

Tigers on song


Here Comes The Fifth One: Bangladesh paceman Forhad Reza (L) is elated after bowling Greg Thompson of Ireland to grab his fifth wicket, top, and Colourfully dressed Bangladesh fans enjoy their time during the second one-day international against Ireland at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.Photo: STAR

After a long time, the Tigers were celebrating some success. If the first win against Ireland brought back smile in the Bangladesh camp after a lengthy losing streak since the World Cup last year, securing the series yesterday made them relieved and singing.
Ireland, who had stunned Bangladesh in their World Cup super eights match, wilted under scorching heat in the first match but even the cool breeze following overnight shower hardly changed their performance.
"Bangladesh had plenty of wickets in hand in the last 20 overs when we scored similarly but lost six men. It made the difference," admitted losing coach Phil Simmons at the post-match briefing at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
"We are 2-0 behind but the third game is a massive one for us because we want to leave Bangladesh on a high," said Irish captain Trent Johnson.
"We have had a lot of positives in the two defeats as it was our first tour of the sub-continent. We have proved in the World Cup that we can win in conditions that suit us," he said.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons said he was happy to see his boys get cheerful at last.
"It was nice to hear the team song in the dressing room. They deserve it. They stuck to the team rules, put up some runs on the board and defended that," the Australian said.
"Farhad (Reza) took Rasel's place in the side and bowled at the start and in the middle. He reversed it when he came back and took five wickets. It's a great performance for a guy of his height and stature to play like he did. He has a bit of all-round ability and at the moment he is a very valuable member of the team," Siddons commented about Bangladesh's match winner.
When asked whether he really gambled by taking Farhad discarding a genuine pacer in Shahadat Hossain, Siddons said: "Probably this is not our ideal scenario long term. But certainly he fitted the bill today on our wicket but probably it is not ideal to open the bowling with someone like Farhad rather than a genuine opening bowler. But his all-round capability is something we lack. It was a risk and we reaped the rewards today but it is not going to happen all the time. We are trying to find the right balance and put a competitive team out there.
"I think the wicket was pretty good. We almost made 250 and they were cruising to get 250. I don't think there were too many demons in that track. The ball didn't stop or anything and didn't stop batsmen from playing their shots. It probably suited our spinners but everywhere we go the pitches tend to suit our opposition and we are giving them a little bit of our own at the moment. It is a good wicket for us."
Mohammad Ashraful, relieved after two wins in his career as Bangladesh captain, said the victory would give them confidence ahead of the Pakistan tour.
"We had beaten a lot of weak teams in the lead-up to the World Cup and the habit helped us in the tournament proper. By beating Ireland we want to get that habit back," said Ashraful, who batted sensibly in the two matches after his total failure against South Africa earlier this month.
"The match was closer than the margin of victory suggests because in the last 20 overs, they needed around 120 runs. Forhad changed the scenario and I believe if we play our best, we will win 3-0."
Forhad was very happy with his success as a new ball bowler, which he is not used to do at this level.
"I am grateful to Aftab and Nafees for taking two brilliant catches. I might have had not taken any wickets but for those catches," said Forhad.
Nafees was inside the 30-yard circle when left-handed batsman Eoin Morgan got a leading edge but the Bangladeshi fielder ran backwards and dived to take a one-handed catch.
Next ball, Aftab pulled off a sharp and low catch to his right at point to dismiss William Porterfield, who had struck five fours to scorer 25.
"It was planned that I would bat in the last ten overs but I failed. I feel fortunate that the captain asked me to bowl for a third spell when I took three wickets," said Forhad whose last spell of two overs cost five runs.

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