Mustafiz takes four-for as Bangladesh edge Ireland in 3rd ODI

Mustafizur Rahman celebrates a wicket with teammates during the third ODI between Bangladesh and Ireland at the County Ground in Chelmsford, England on 14 May 2023BCB

A four-wicket haul from a returning Mustafizur Rahman helped Bangladesh turn the tides in a tight contest and seal a four-run win over Ireland in the final One-Day International (ODI) of the three-match series at the County Ground in Chelmsford, England on Sunday.

Mustafiz, who was playing his first match in the series and his first ODI after not getting picked in the previous five ODIs, finished with 4-44 in his 10 overs to restrict Ireland to 270-9 in their 50 overs.

Three Irish batters- Paul Stirling (60 off 73 balls), skipper Andy Balbirnie (53 off 78 balls) and Lorcan Tucker (50 off 53 balls) – scored fifties but in the end they couldn’t get the job done.

Earlier, Bangladesh got bundled out for 274 in 48.5 overs after being asked to bat first.

Skipper Tamim Iqbal top-scored with 69 off 82 balls while Mushfiqur Rahim chipped in with a handy 45 off 54 balls in what was a stop-start innings for the Tigers.

Pacer Mark Adair was the pick of the Irish bowlers with 4-40.

Ireland were well on course to successfully complete the chase, reaching 225-3 and requiring another 50 off 49 balls with Harry Tector and Tucker looking well set.

Tamim then gave the ball to part-time spinner Najmul Hossain Shanto who broke the 79-run partnership by getting Tector caught by Liton Das for 45 off 48 balls.

Mustafiz then struck thrice in quick succession, removing Curtis Campher (one), George Dockrell (three) and Tucker, in a batting collapse the Irish side did not see coming.

Adair took 14 runs in the penultimate over off debutant Mrittunjoy Chowdhury, leaving 10 runs for Hasan Mahmud to defend in the final over.

Hasan kept his calm, bowled Adair with a slower delivery in the first ball to dent Ireland’s hopes.

He then got Andy McBrine (four) caught in the third ball and conceded just five runs in the over to seal a hard fought, come from behind victory for the Tigers.

With the win, Bangladesh won the series 2-0. Earlier, they had won the second ODI by three wickets. The first match got washed out.

This was also the final bilateral series of the 2020-23 cycle of the ICC ODI Super League, a qualifying competition for the ICC World Cup in 2023.

Bangladesh ended the cycle equaling second spot holder England in points while Ireland finished 11th.