SYLHET, March 18, 2023 (BSS)—Bangladesh racked up a respectable 338-8 in the three-match ODI series opener against Ireland, thanks to two 90 plus knock from Shakib Al Hasan and debutant Towhid Hridoy at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.
This was Bangladesh's highest ODI total, eclipsing 333-8 against Australia during 2019 World Cup at Nottingham.
Shakib struck 93 off 89 with the help of nine boundaries, a knock which was his third consecutive fifty plus knock. He hit 58 and a match-winning 75 against England in the last two ODIs.
Hridoy became the third Bangladeshi batter after Farhad Reza and Nasir Hossain to hit a half-century on debut but he could have made it hundred as the first Bangladeshi batter.
However, he missed out the well deserved ton by eight runs after being out for 92 off 85, an innings laced with eight fours and two sixes. Nonetheless, he is now the batter with highest score for Bangladesh on debut, going past Nasir Hossain’s 63.
Shakib also will be equally frustrated to miss the century what could be his 10th ton in ODI cricket. He got dismissed by chasing a wide delivery of pacer Graham Hume.
But the duo gave Bangladesh a well platform by adding 135 off just 125 balls after they were reduced to 81-3.
Pacer Mark Adair gave the side a solid start after his captain Andrew Balbirnie put Bangladesh into batting first as he swung one nicely to force Bangladesh skipper Tamim Iqbal edge a delivery at first slip for 3.
Liton Das played some beautiful shots before being out on 26 while Najmul Hossain Shanto also failed to make his start count as he was out on 25.
Shakib and Hridoy then put the side on track, treating the Irish bowlers in disdain. Both of the batters looked all set to reach the three figures before Shakib made the blunder by chasing a wide delivery.
In came Mushfiqur Rahim and immediately put the Irish bowlers on sword to pace the innings impeccably.
Hridoy who was in Shakib’s shadow for most of the time, then unfurled some powerful shots to reach his 90’s quickly.
They shared 80 off just 49 balls but Hume had the say again. He broke this partnership too, removing Mushfiqur who smote three sixes and as many fours for his 44 off 26.
Like Shakib Al Hasan, Hume then frustrated Hridoy too by taking his wicket.
Yasir Ali, Taskin Ahmed and Nasum Ahmed, all played with freedom toward the end as Bangladesh ended up with the highest ODI total.
Hume was the most successful bowler for Ireland with his career-best 4-60 while Adair, Andy McBrine and Curtis Campher took one wicket apiece.