Bangladesh Emerging team have won an absolute thriller of a match by six runs against the Ireland Wolves in the fifth unofficial ODI between the two teams at the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Sunday. Bangladesh, winning the first three matches, had already taken the series and by a win in this match, they have once again stamped their authority.
Bangladesh Emerging team were sent in to bat by Ireland Wolves. Skipper Saif Hassan was cleaned up by Mark Adair in the fourth over. Saif's opening partner Anisul Islam Emon scored a brisk 31-ball-41 before Gareth Delany sent him back in the 11th over.
After Emon's dismissal, Ireland Wolves pulled things back a bit by drying the runs up. Bangladesh Emerging team could manage only 45 runs in the next 73 balls. Towhid Hridoy, who played superbly well in the previous game, couldn't quite get going and got out in the 24th over scoring 20 off 39 deliveries.
Mahmudul Hasan Joy, who came in at three, started from where he left off in the previous game. He saw wickets fall at regular intervals at the other end but kept his wicket intact. With Shahadat Hossain Dipu and Shamim Hossain falling cheaply, Bangladesh Emerging team were in a spot of bother at 163 for five in the 33rd over.
Joy put on an important 71-run stand with wicketkeeper-batsman Mahidul Islam Ankon for the 6th wicket. Ankon played well for his 33 off 39 balls and provided good support to Joy. But after Ankon got out, no such contribution were made by the tail-enders. Mahmudul Hasan Joy was the 8th batsman to be dismissed. He scored a magnificent 123 off 135 deliveries with the help of nine fours and three sixes. Bangladesh Emerging team were all-out for 260 with two balls left.
Mark Adair stood out with the ball for Ireland Wolves, picking up three scalps for 27 runs. Ruhan Pretorius and Harry Tector got two wickets each.
In reply, Ireland lost Jeremy Lawlor in the second over. But a 97-run partnership between Stephen Doheny and Mark Adair kept them in the hunt. The partnership was broken by Bangladesh Emerging team skipper Saif Hassan when he sent back Adair. Ireland then lost a couple of wickets inside five overs which brought Bangladesh back into the game.
Shamim Hossain, in the 35th over, produced a vital breakthrough as he dismissed Doheny who top-scored for Ireland Wolves. He made 81 off 99 deliveries. The Wolves still needed 95 off 92 balls after Doheny got out as the fifth batsman.
Lorcan Tucker was the sixth batsman to go who fell victim to Saif Hassan.
The match went down to the wire as the lower order batsmen of Ireland Wolves gave Bangladesh Emerging team a real scare. They required 12 off the last over to win with one wicket in hand. Rejaur Rahman Raja held his nerves and gave away only five runs to close things out.
Saif Hassan picked up three wickets while left-arm pacer Shafiqul Islam and leg-spinner Tanvir Islam claimed two apiece.
With this win, Bangladesh have clinched the series 4-0. Ireland Wolves will face Bangladesh Emerging team in the only T20 on March 16.