Bangladesh have completed their second record thrashing in a week, and it’s their quicks doing the damage
Bangladesh recorded their two biggest wins in men’s ODI cricket over Ireland this week. With their quicks doing the majority of the damage, they are becoming a complete ODI force to be reckoned with, writes Katya Witney.
On Saturday, Ebadot Hossain took four wickets in an imperious 183-run victory in Sylhet – Bangladesh’s biggest ever in terms of runs. Four of Ireland’s top five fell to pace inside the first 20 overs as they were bowled out for 155. Having batted first, Shakib Al Hasan and Towhid Hidroy demolished the Ireland bowlers to record Bangladesh’s highest-ever ODI score (338-8).
That record stood for all of two days thanks to Mushfiqur Rahim’s brutal century in the second ODI, the fastest ever by a Bangladesh batter, which powered them to 349-6. On that occasion, rain curtailed the chances of Bangladesh’s pacers to show their superiority, but today (March 23) they were back in all their glory.
Hasan Mahmud took five wickets as Ireland collapsed to 101 all out. He took three inside the powerplay, pinning Paul Stirling lbw before castling Harry Tector’s off stump in the same over. Ebadot took two in two, narrowly missing out on a hat trick courtesy of a thick inside edge from Curtis Campher.
Of the 20 Ireland wickets that have fallen in this series 16 of them have fallen to pace – that proportion is significant.
The typical modus operandi in Bangladesh is to pack the side with spinners, or at least part-timers, to take advantage of the dusty surfaces. England went into each match on their recent ODI tour with three full-time spin options. Since the beginning of 2020, pace has conceded 5.34 runs per over in Bangladesh, whereas spin has conceded 4.81. Of Full Member nations, Bangladesh has the second lowest overall run rate in that timeframe (5.09) – behind the West Indies.
There is a generic blueprint of how to win in Bangladesh, centred around spinners and attrition rather than scoring blistering pace and big runs. Bangladesh have that method down to a tee. Only India and Australia have a better win/loss ratio at home since 2020, and Bangladesh have won 15 out of their 21 matches at home in that time.
But, against Ireland, the rule book was ripped up. Bangladesh made scoring look easy each time they batted on the Sylhet pitch. Where Ireland packed their attack with spinners, they were still completely unable to limit the scoring rate. When they bowled, while without express pace, the Bangladesh seamers found movement through the air to rip through Ireland’s defences. They were disciplined and gave very little for the likes of Stirling and Tector to capitalise on.
Mahmud’s and Ahmed’s opening spells today were electric. On a hard pitch, the ball snaked past both edges of Stephen Doheny’s bat, each batter who trudged out looking less certain of how to survive than the last. In a caveat to Bangladesh’s brilliance, Ireland were poor. Their shot selection was questionable and their bowlers were unable to create any sort of real pressure.
But, that acknowledged, Bangladesh were excellent. And they have been in ODI cricket for quite some time. Their dominance at home aside, they have won nine out of their last 15 games away from home. Within that, they have recorded series victories over India, South Africa and West Indies, and they sit fourth in the World Cup Super League standings, above Pakistan, Australia and Afghanistan of those who have already qualified.
Bangladesh have been quietly building themselves into an ODI force to be reckoned with. While they still have ground to conquer before the World Cup later this year – an Asia Cup campaign and home series against New Zealand – their performance against Ireland showed them at their scintilating best.