Tamim among runs but Tigers lose steam
Tamim Iqbal was back among runs, which was a positive for Bangladesh after Ireland sent them to bat in Chelmsford yesterday.
The Bangladesh captain had last scored an international ODI fifty in August last year, against Zimbabwe, and went nine innings without scoring a fifty during a slightly rough patch.
The Tigers' batters, including Tamim, got starts but could not capitalise. Mushfiqur Rahim's contributions, especially during a valuable partnership with Mehedi Hasan Miraz, set them up for a score of "par score" of 274. Having been unable to play out the fifty over, the batting performance leaves room for improvement.
Bangladesh had Shakib Al Hasan injured and out of the series but he was there to hand out ODI caps to debutants Rony Talukdar and Mrittunjoy Chowdhury before game's start. Meanwhile, Mustafizur Rahman returned to the playing eleven as well after sitting out the first two ODIs. Shoriful Islam and Taijul Islam both were rested.
Early on, Josh Little was struggling with his wrist position, getting in a few wides and byes. When he did get it right, shaping one into Tamim, the resultant dolly of a catch was dropped by Irish skipper Andy Balbirnie.
Rony, sent in to open, however, looked unconvincing, getting off the mark after 12 deliveries following a few instances of hitting air before he departed nicking Mark Adair following a wild swipe.
Najmul Hossain Shanto, who hit his maiden ODI ton in the second ODI, appeared to be carrying his form from the last game. He moved from 23 to 35, dealing in boundaries while the partnership between him and Tamim moved to 49. At the end of Powerplay, Bangladesh were looking good but Shanto nudged one from Craig Young, who bowled excellently, to depart for a 32-ball 35.
Liton came to the crease and quickly found his feet. He, too, had struggled to bat to his potential this series but despite getting some testing deliveries outside the off stump, he held up his end with some classy shots. Another crucial partnership was developing as Tamim was allowed to find his rhythm during a 70-run stand. The Irish spinners, however, managed to put the breaks in.
Andy McBrine darted one in but Liton picked the wrong shot and fell after a 39-ball 35. Other spinner George Dockrell, who had proven to be handy against Bangladesh batters in the previous game, here he got the better of Towhid Hridoy.
Tamim did not accompany the incoming Mushfiqur for long, having not quite found his tempo and holding out to short third-man off Dockrell as well after a patient 69.
The foiled platform meant Mushfiqur and Miraz had to keep things ticking without many big shots, and they did considerably well.
However, when the time for acceleration came, Mushfiqur fell to McBrine after a 54-ball 45, and the last five Bangladesh wickets fell for 14 runs.
Craig Young had been fantastic without reward but Mark Adair produced a four-fer as appeared to be pleased with how things unfolded. The early movement apart, the wickets in Essex has produced runs.
"274 is a par score, tough place to defend as we found out the other day. Few good partnerships with the bat should see us home," Adair added at the end of the first innings as Bangladesh now look to put in a commendable performance with the ball and secure a series win.