By BV Swagath
Bangladesh crushed hosts Ireland by 71 runs in the opening T20I at the Civil Service Cricket Club in Stormont, Belfast on Wednesday to take a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series. It was a strong batting show from the visitors as they piled up 190 for 5 after they were put into bat first by the Ireland Captain William Porterfield.
The top scorer for Bangladesh was Shakib Al Hasan with 57 from 33 balls with 9 fours followed up by Ziaur Rahman, who made an unbeaten 40 (from 17 balls with 5 sixes). Mahmudullah also played an entertaining cameo of 23 from 15 balls (with a four and 2 sixes). For the hosts, veteran seamer Trent Johnson bowled well giving away only 23 runs off his 4 overs.
In their run chase, Ireland crashed to 119 for 8 with debutant left-arm spinner Elias Sunny wrecking them apart with figures of 4-1-13-5. Another left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak took 2 for 9 in 4 overs. The top scorer for Ireland was Gary Wilson with an unbeaten 41 (from 36 balls with 4 fours and a six). Elias Sunny got the Man of the Match award in what was his maiden T20I for Bangladesh.