CHATTORGAM, March 31, 2023 (BSS) - Captain Paul Stirling led from the front with a belligerent 41 ball-77 as Ireland denied Bangladesh a T20 sweep, securing a seven-wicket victory in the third and final match at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhruy Stadium here today.
The Tigers finally won the series by 2-1, thanks to victory in the first match by 22 runs through the DLS method and the second game by 77 runs.
Bangladesh recovered from 61-7 before being bowled out for 124 in 19.2 overs after opting to bat first. A brilliant 41 ball-52 of Shamim Patwari was instrumental in providing the side a total to defend with but his valiant effort was not enough as Ireland raced to victory in just 14 overs, at 126-3.
Stirling dominated throughout the chase, treating with Bangladesh bowlers in utmost disdain to sail home with a aggressive knock that was studded with 10 fours and four sixes.
Fast bowler Taskin Ahmed broke through early, rattling the stump of Ross Adair (7) before pacer Shoriful Islam, one of the two changes of the hosts, had Lorcan Tucker caught by Liton Das for 4.
Those two dismissals couldn't dent the mood of Stirling as he reached his 22nd fifty off 31 ball, with a single through long-off off legspinner Rishad Hossain who took 1-19 in 3 overs on debut.
Rishad was the only bowler who managed to curb Stirling's aggression and eventually dismissed him for his maiden wicket as Ireland was just 14 runs away from the victory.
Harry Tector (14) and Curtis Campher (16) steered the side to the victory with the latter pulling Taskin over fine leg for a six as Ireland secured its first victory on Bangladeshi soil.
Shamim Patwari earlier fought lonely and struck his maiden half-century to help Bangladesh recover from a horrible situation.
Coming to bat at No. 6 position, Patwari hammered 51 off 42,smashing five fours and two sixes to help Bangladesh propel past 100, which looked completely unlikely after they slumped to 24-3 and then 61-7.
Ireland were no match for Bangladesh in the previous matches on the tour, but in a match which is crucial for them to avoid ignominious whitewash, they came out all guns blazing after the hosts opted to bat first.
Apart from Shamim Patwari, only three other Bangladesh batters reached double digit figures-Rony Talukdar made 14, Nasum Ahmed scored 13 and Towhid Hridoy added 12.
Ireland were lucky to have the wicket of Liton Das, who slashed straight to George Dockrell in deep point against an ordinary delivery of Mark Adair. Najmul Hossain Shanto, then caught at deep midwicket, tried to slog-sweep offspinner Harry Tector before Rony Talukdar, who hit three boundaries, was undone by a quicker delivery of Curtis Campher.
Bangladesh were left to 24-3, which was beyond imagination given their performance in the series.
The situation worsened when skipper Shakib Al Hasan was out, caught by Ben White at deep midwicket after being baffled by a slower delivery from pacer Mark Adair.
Legspinner White then fooled Towhid Hridoy with one that turned viciously before debutant Matthew Humphreys joined the party.
He clean bowled another Bangladesh debutant, Rishad Hossain, in his first ball in the T20 International and got the better of Taskin on the third delivery. He finally finished with 2-10 on his debut.
Shamim Patwari kept fighting amid the wickets tumbling around him. He got support from Nasum as the duo shared a small but significant 33 runs for the eighth wicket.
Legspinner Gareth Delnay broke the partnership before Adair came back to dismiss Shoriful Islam and returned figures of 3-25 finally.
Shamim, however, took the side past 100 and then took up his maiden fifty off 40 balls, with a paddle sweep for a boundary through short fine leg.
Medium pacer Fionn Hand, however, dismissed him in the last over to deny Bangladesh adding some more runs.