Bangladesh have beaten Ireland by five runs in a thriller to win the ODI series 2-0 riding on Mustafizur Rahman’s brilliant last spell that brought the Tigers back in the match.
With the end of the third ODI of the series in Chelmsford on Sunday, the ICC World Cup Super League is over, leaving Bangladesh in the third position behind New Zealand and England after Ireland scored 269 for 9 in a moderate chase of 275 for a win.
After Mustafizur took three wickets in his last three overs, Hasan Mahmud claimed two in the final over, denying Ireland what could be a famous win.
Needing 10 runs from that over with three wickets in hand, Ireland managed only 4 runs off five balls, losing two batsmen and making the target 6 off the last ball. Craig Young could not manage a single run off the yorker by Hasan.
Captain Tamim Iqbal brought Najmul Hossain Shanto to the attack in the 42nd over, a decision that proved right as the Tigers were without their star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan due to his injury.
Shanto sent back Harry Tector in the fifth ball and gave away only 10 runs in his three overs.
Mustafizur then put tremendous pressure on Ireland by taking three quick wickets. He had already given Bangladesh the first breakthrough in the sixth over.
Sent in to bat first, Bangladesh, who chased down 320 in 45 overs on Friday, scored at a brisk rate through the innings before Ireland fought back with late wickets at the County Ground.
Tamim smashed a half-century as a collective batting effort took Bangladesh to 274.
Mark Adair (4-40) was the tormentor in chief for Bangladesh at the death as Bangladesh lost five wickets for only 13 runs.
But Tamim (69) hit six boundaries in his 82-ball knock to craft his first half-century since Zimbabwe tour last year. He opened the innings with Rony Talukdar (4) but the debutant threw away his wicket early.
Tamim took his time to dig deep after being dropped early in the slips, but an in-form Shanto (35) got off the blocks swiftly.
He appeared to pick up from where he had left off in his century-knock on Friday and clubbed seven boundaries in a 49-run stand with Tamim.
But Craig Young (1-53) took Shanto out with a superb catch by skipper Andy Balbirnie in the slips before the left-hander could cause too much damage.
Young frequently lured the batsmen into shots and moved past the edges in a fine display of seam bowling. Spinners Andy McBrine (2-39) and George Dockrell (2-31) kept the scoring rate on a leash from either end as well.
Litton Das (35) came down the order at four and also looked to be in fine touch.
After adding 70 to the score with his skipper, Litton ended up popping up a catch at cover in an effort to up the scoring rate. As Towhid Hridoy (13) perished soon after, Tamim recklessly swung at one moving away from him to get caught.
Reduced to 186 for 5, Mushfiqur Rahim (45) took charge with Mehidy Hasan Miraz (37). The duo put on 75 off 72 balls to take Bangladesh to 261 for 5 and appeared ready for some late fireworks with more than four overs to go.
But a spectacular collapse prevented Bangladesh from playing out the last seven balls of the innings.