Bangladesh’s second one-day international against Ireland may have been cut short by rain. But it was not before the hosts had posted their highest-ever ODI total. Led by a blazing century from Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh reached an imposing 349-6 before the heavens opened up in Sylhet, preventing Ireland from even starting their innings.
Mushfiqur’s knock of 100 off just 60 balls was the fastest ODI hundred by a Bangladeshi batsman, and it helped his team break their record of 338-8, set in the previous match, which they won by a whopping 183 runs.
In addition, his stunning performance eclipsed Shakib Al Hasan’s 2009 record of a 63-ball century against Zimbabwe.
Rahim’s record-breaking century was a treat for the eyes, according to his teammate Liton Das. He said, “Mushfiqur has been in good touch, and even in the last game, his 40-plus knock helped us to a 300-plus total. Today, he was at his best. I have never seen any Bangladeshi batter scoring a century, coming after 30 overs. It was a great treat for the eyes.”
Despite being sent in to bat first, Bangladesh didn’t let the overcast conditions deter them, as Liton Das and skipper Tamim Iqbal laid a solid foundation with a 42-run opening stand. However, Tamim was run out for 23, triggering a mini-collapse that saw Shakib Al Hasan and Najmul Hossain fall in quick succession.
But Mushfiqur and Towhid Hridoy turned the tide with a sensational partnership that yielded 128 runs in 13 overs. Although Towhid fell short of a well-deserved fifty, Mushfiqur continued to blaze away, bringing up his ninth ODI hundred with a single on the last ball of the innings.
As the runs piled up, the crowd in Sylhet was treated to another high-scoring affair. And Rahim had even more reason to celebrate, as he became the third Bangladesh batter after Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan to reach the 7000 ODI runs landmark.
The rain had the final say in the game, as the match officials had to call it off shortly after 8:30 pm with no hope of resuming play. The result meant that Bangladesh took an unassailable 1-0 lead in the three-match series, with the final game scheduled for Thursday.
Bangladesh and Ireland’s Status so Far
It’s clear that Bangladesh means business in this series. In the first match at this venue, they had put up 338, which was their then-highest score in ODIs, surpassing the 333 they had made against Australia at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. And they didn’t stop there – they recorded a stunning 183-run victory, their biggest in terms of runs.
Meanwhile, Ireland openers Stephen Doheny and Paul Stirling put on a steady start of 60 before Bangladesh’s bowlers took control. Ebabat Hossain claimed four wickets for 42 runs as Ireland were bowled out for 155.
For Ireland, these matches are valuable practice ahead of the ODI World Cup in India later this year. The Irish team is yet to qualify for the tournament, and these games on South Asian pitches will be crucial in preparing them for the challenges ahead.