Slipshod Bangladesh collapse to 205 against disciplined Irish

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Mirpur (Bangladesh), Feb 25 (PTI) Bangladesh were letdown by a shoddy batting performance as a disciplined Irelandskittled them out for 205 in a Group B match of the cricketWorld Cup here today.

Electing to bat, Bangladesh''s batsmen failed to buildpartnerships with Tamim Iqbal (44), Mushfiqur Rahim (36) andRaqibul Hasan (38) being the only noteworthy contributers tothe total.

To Bangladesh''s embarrassment, the team did not even lastthe full 50 overs and folded up in 49.2 overs.

The Irish had got the better of Bangladesh even in theprevious edition of the World Cup and had the upperhand formost of the first half of the crunch game a loss in whichwould severly jeopardise the co-hosts'' chances of advancing tothe quarterfinals.

It was a fantastic start to the proceedings for the hostsafter winning the toss as they raced to their 50 in just 5.4overs.

But the slide was not too far either and it started withopener Imrul Kayes (12) being sent back by pacer John Mooneyin the seventh over.

Next man in, Junaid Siddique, didn''t last long either andwas run out by Ed Joyce after contributing just three runs tothe total.

Three overs after Siddique''s dismissal, Bangladesh weredealt a massive blow when Tamim was dismissed by Andre Botha.

After striking seven boundaries in his 43-ball knock,Tamim drove Botha outside off stump only to be caught by Irishskipper William Porterfield at point, leaving the packed crowdstunned in silence.

With skipper Shakib Al Hasan also making a hasty exitafter contributing 16 runs, Bangladesh were in dire straits at86/4 in just the 16th over.

But Rahim and Raqibul got together to put on 61 runs forthe fifth wicket and steady the rocking boat, albeittemporarily.

Their partnership was broken when Rahim''s attempted sweepoff 18-year-old spinner George Dockrell landed straight intothe hands of Andrew White.

His dismissal triggered another collapse with seniorbatsman and former captain Mohammad Ashraful (1), who wasbrought back into the side to strengthen the falteringline-up, coming a cropper lasting just one over.

Given the top-order collapse, the tail could not do mucheither save for Naeem Islam, who added 29 vital runs to thescore including three boundaries.

For Ireland, Botha picked up three wickets, concedingjust 32 runs in his nine runs, while Dockrell clinched acouple of scalps in his 10 overs during which he gave only 23runs.

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