Shakib Al Hasan and debutant Towhid Hridoy shone after seamer Ebadot Hossain propelled Bangladesh to a rampant 183-run victory against Ireland in the first ODI to register their biggest win in the format.
Shakib (93) and Hridoy (92) paired in a striking century stand for the fourth wicket before a quickfire 26-ball 44 by Mushfiqur Rahim pushed Bangladesh to a huge total at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
The Irish team got off to a decent start in their chase with a 60-run opening stand but then lost five wickets in 16 runs in a spectacular batting collapse as the Tigers’ continued their fine form following the triumph over world champions England in T20s.
Shakib (1-23) broke the opening stand sending Stephen Doheny (34) back before Ebadot (4-42) snared the wickets of the dangerous Paul Stirling (22) and Harry Tector (3). All three batters were caught brilliantly behind the wicket by an inspired Mushfiqur Rahim.
Taskin Ahmed (2-15) then took out skipper Andy Balbirnie (5) and Lorcan Tucker (6) in back-to-back wicket maidens to put Bangladesh firmly in the driver’s seat as Ireland slipped to 76 for 5 in the 18th over.
Curtis Campher (16) and George Dockrell (45) put up some resistance but southpaw Nasum Ahmed then spun up three wickets to go through the Irish lower order leaving Ebadot to skittle the visitors for 155 in the 31st over to top off a clinical performance.
Earlier, some superb batting from Shakib (93) and Man-of-the-Match Hridoy (92) lifted Bangladesh to an imposing 338 for 8, which is a record total for the Tigers in the format.
After Ireland reduced Bangladesh to 81 for 3 in the 17th over with Litton Das (26) Najmul Hossain Shanto (25) already back in the hutch, Shakib and Hridoy hammered 135 for the fourth wicket to put on a delightful show for the partisan home crowd.
After Shakib failed to reach his 10th ODI century, Mushfiqur came out all guns blazing and stitched 80 runs off only 49 balls with Hridoy.
The 22-year-old Hridoy came agonisingly close to becoming the first Bangladeshi batsman to score a hundred on ODI debut. He laced his 85-ball innings with eight boundaries and two sixes.
Shakib joined the exclusive club of 7,000 runs and 300 wickets after Sanath Jayasuriya and Shahid Afridi. He smashed nine boundaries off 89 balls.
Graham Hume was the pick of the Irish bowlers with 4 for 61, bagging the wickets of Shakib, Hridoy and Mushfiqur after Ireland chose to field first.
Hume’s strikes put Bangladesh in danger of petering out at the death but Yasir Ali (17), Taskin Ahmed (11) and Nasum Ahmed (11) pushed Bangladesh to the total.
At the post-match presentation, Hridoy said: “Missing the hundred hurts a bit but I am happy to have gotten a great start. It felt good. Shakib gave me a lot of confidence. I just tried to execute the plan.”
Tamim said: “We batted exceptionally well. It wasn't the best wicket to bat in our first 20 overs. Shakib was brilliant. Mushy's innings made the difference, shoutout to him.
“Very pleased with the way we bowled under lights. I think the wicket was great but could have been better in the first 20-25 overs, when it was on the slower side. But these sporting wickets will help us.”
“Ebadot is a world-class act. Also special mention to Nasum. He doesn't play too many ODIs but has been brilliant when he’s in.”
Irish skipper Balbirnie said: “At the halfway stage, we weren't too disappointed. The wicket was the best to bat on when we started but those 4-5 wickets cost us.”
“We don't want to use lack of experience as an excuse but they did look in rhythm and played very well. But the beauty of it is we will get another chance on Monday. We want to compete but do better than we did today, especially with the bat.”