About the Match
Ireland may not have posed much of a challenge to England, however, they would be hoping for a much-improved performance in the upcoming tri-series at home. They open their account against Bangladesh, a team that was once on the same plane as Ireland but has truly elevated itself among the heavyweights of cricket.
The much anticipated between England Ireland, at least in terms of occasion, amounted to little as the gulf in quality between the sides showed. Ireland cricket fans and even the cricket players themselves had expected England to beat them and would not have been too distraught about it but if the same thing happens against Bangladesh then there might be more of an uproar.
Ireland must truly believe that they can raise their games to put up a strong fight and maybe even win a game against Bangladesh in their own conditions. It is not going to be easy.
Recent form showed by the Irish batsmen has been very poor. Only Paul Stirling looks like a batsman of the modern era and has the capability to take the game away from oppositions. He will need support though from the like of Ed Joyce and William Porterfield.
We think that Balbernie might be the dark horse for Ireland in this series as he has the game to manipulate the spinners in the middle overs and keep ticking the scorecard over.
Among the bowlers, Tim Murtagh and Peter Chase are most likely to be the biggest threat to the Bangladeshis and will be hoping to pick up some early wickets. If Ireland gets a wicket with some grass on it and the conditions favor swing bowling then the contest between the two teams could be much closer than one expects.
This is a Bangladesh team that is a settled, confident and well-respected side the world over. They are coming off a very impressive Sri Lankan tour where they tasted overseas ODI and Test success. Ireland, to them, would offer no threat or nightmares but guarding against complacency would be essential for them.
Bangladesh has a formidable batting order led by Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, and Sabbir Rahman at the top. Tamim is experienced enough to respect the conditions if needed while Sarkar and Rahman can be expected to go for their runs no matter what.
The middle order of Shakib, Mossadek, and Mushfiqur is also very capable and with Mahmudallah at 7, this team will back its batsmen to chase down whatever the opposition throws at it. Ireland will probably try to exploit a perceived weakness against seam bowling and the short pitched length but the Bangladeshi batsmen should be able to cope without much trouble.
The real reason for Bangladesh emergence as a mature cricketing power has been because of its improved bowling stocks. In Mehedi Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman, they have two of the most exciting bowlers in their history and the likes of Taskin Ahmed and Shaiful provide genuine pace as well.
We also do not expect Bangladesh to change up its preferred mode of attacking with spin and continue to open the bowling with Mehedi Hasan. Ireland was rolled over by the Afghan spinners a couple of months back and by Adil Rashid last week. Bangladesh will be hoping to dish pout the same treatment through Shakib and Mehedi Hasan.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at Malahide is usually flat and ideal for batting. The ground is pretty small as well and allows for some big runs to be racked up. This is, however, the early part of the summer and some movement can be expected with the new ball. A little bit of rain is also expected to cause a few interruptions in the game.
We think that Bangladesh has matured enough to be able to brush aside a declining Ireland team even if the conditions help even things out a bit.
Back Bangladesh To Win.
Winner: Bangladesh, 1.4 @ Bet on Bangladesh now