Bangladesh’s most experienced spinner Shakib Al Hasan conceded the most expensive over of his career when he was struck for 23 in the 46th over of their tri-series encounter with Ireland in Dublin yesterday.
Paul Stirling, who registered his first ODI hundred since March 2018 in the match, struck two sixes and two fours off Shakib as the home team added 99 runs in the last ten overs of their innings to post a fighting 292 for eight in 50 overs.
However, this was just a side-effect of the real issue, Bangladesh’s fielders were unable to hold onto a number of catches which went on to hurt the Tigers and more importantly, it had a negative impact on Shakib.
Bangladesh’s fielders remained below par yesterday but the good news is that it was a dead rubber fixture seeing as the Tigers’ had earlier secured their place in the series final.
Stirling was dropped not once but twice off consecutive deliveries and the right-handed opener grabbed those chances with open arms as he went on to score a 141-ball 130, featuring eight fours and four sixes.
Stirling was first dropped on 57 when he lofted a Mosaddek Hossain delivery inside-out towards long-off, where Sabbir Rahman -- known as one of Bangladesh’s best fielders -- dropped the catch while diving, which should not have happened considering his standards.
Sabbir was a split-second late to react, which was enough to let the opportunity slip but if Ireland had lost Stirling’s wicket at that point, they would have been in deep trouble.
Then, off the very next ball of the following over, Shakib was the unlucky bowler as Mohammad Saifuddin dropped a rather straight forward chance at point after three fumbles with the ball.
Bangladesh and Shakib both endured the brutal dropped catches and although it was in a rather unimportant match against a comparatively weaker opponent, the Tigers’ think-tank will have to take the matter seriously.
Obviously no fielder intentionally drops catches but fielding is such a department that even a slight lack of concentration and insufficient training could lead to bigger troubles, a proof of which would be if Bangladesh are unable to chase down Ireland’s fighting total.