Tigers recover before washout
There was always a chance that rain would hamper the tri-nation series in Ireland and that was the case yesterday when the opener between Bangladesh and Ireland had to be abandoned as relentless rain lashed the Malahide Cricket Club in Dublin.
Only 31.1 overs of play were possible after Ireland chose to put the opposition in on a lush green pitch, but that was enough time for either side to make a definitive statement and it seemed that Bangladesh were in the ascendancy after early Irish dominance.
Opener Tamim Iqbal was unbeaten on 64 and Mahmudullah Riyad was batting on 43 as the fifth-wicket partnership had swelled to 87 in just 16.2 overs.
Having played three warm-up games on docile pitches, Bangladesh's top-order batsmen were found wanting against the new ball. Among the top five, only Tamim displayed the requisite technique and temperament to survive the moving ball, committing to either foot and playing the ball late throughout his 88-ball innings..
The Irish rarely hit upon a good line and length on a helpful pitch, but when they did the batsmen obliged by playing away from their bodies, except number three Sabbir Rahman who played a horrendous slog to be caught at third man off Peter Chase soon after a lifter from the same bowler had opener Soumya Sarkar edging to the keeper.
Sabbir's across-the-line hoick reduced Bangladesh to nine for two, and brought the side's two most technically proficient batsmen -- Tamim and Mushfiqur Rahim -- together. But after they put on 38, Mushfiqur chased an away-seaming delivery from Barry McCarthy to give Niall O'Brien his second catch behind the wicket.
Stand-in skipper Shakib Al Hasan -- taking over from Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who is serving out a one-match suspension -- hit two consecutive boundaries off Chase in the 15th over, but perished off the very next ball.
That was when Tamim and Mahmudullah arrested the slide and started taking Bangladesh towards what looked to be a formidable total. Tamim focused on punishing the loose balls, of which there were plenty. He unfurled some delightful drives and the best of his eight fours was the straight drive he played against Tim Murtagh in the ninth over.
Mahmudullah's 56-ball innings was a welcome one from Bangladesh's perspective, as he seemed to regain some of the late touch that made him so successful against the moving ball during the 2015 World Cup.
With points shared from this match, Bangladesh will look to follow the examples set by Tamim and Mahmudullah on Wednesday when they will face New Zealand.