Sports, Cricket

Bangladesh post their highest ODI total

Published : 18 Mar 2023 08:55 PM

Sparkling nineties from debutant TowhidHridoy and Shakib Al Hasan lifted Bangladesh to 338 for 8, their highest ODI score, in the first game against Ireland in Sylhet. Hridoy made Bangladesh's highest ODI score by a debutant with his 92, beating Nasir Hossain's 63 against Zimbabwe in 2011. Shakib got out in the nineties for the fourth time in ODIs but it was his 135-run fourth wicket stand with Hridoy that pushed the home side's scoring rate.

Mushfiqur Rahim's 26-ball 44 was followed by meaty blows from Taskin Ahmed and Yasir Ali as Sylhet produced the fourth consecutive 300-plus score for the team batting first. Ireland's bowling frayed at the end as they conceded 183 runs in the last 20 overs. Only Graham Hume looked like a wicket-taker, with his 4 for 60.

Ireland started brightly though, taking two wickets in the first Powerplay. Paul Stirling took both catches as Tamim Iqbal edged to first slip in the third over, before Litton Das reprised his soft-dismissal theme, with Curtis Campher taking a wicket in his first over.

Najmul Hossain Shanto and Shakib kept batting positively before Andy McBrine got an offbreak to straighten from around the wicket and beat Shanto's lavish drive all ends up. At 81 for 3 in the 17th over, Ireland should have pressed home the advantage but they were up against a rampant Shakib who had an excited Hridoy to keep him going. For roughly 13 overs, the pair was focused on quick runs, to force the visiting side into defensive lengths and fields. When Shakib reached 24, he became the third cricketer to reach 7,000 runs and 300 wickets in ODIs.

The pair had hit only six fours between them till the 30th over, before Shakib launched into Harry Tector, taking for 22 runs in the 35th over. He struck with a sweep, a dink over cover, another sweep and a square cut, before finishing it off with a fifth boundary, hit straight down the ground. This was the sixth occasion since 2003 that a batter struck more than 20 runs in an over without hitting a six.

A century looked like a foregone conclusion the way Shakib was batting, but Hume had him caught behind on 93. He struck nine fours in his 93-ball innings, which laid a solid foundation for a big total.

Mushfiqur took full advantage of this base, hitting three sixes and as many fours in his 44. He added 80 runs in eight overs for the fifth wicket with Hridoy, but the pair got out within three balls of each other. Taskin and Yasir struck one six each, as Ireland found it hard to stop the flood of runs.