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Rampant Bangladesh gear up for Ireland challenge

DHAKA, March 17, 2023 (BSS)—Bangladesh are looking forward to play their best cricket and keep the winning momentum going as they take on visiting Ireland in the three-match ODI series opener tomorrow (Saturday) at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.

The match which starts at 2 PM will be aired live on T-Sports Channel.

“We respect Ireland just like England but we don’t fear any team. We are not going to treat Ireland any less than how we prepared for England. When we play our best cricket, we are good enough to beat most teams. It is our mantra,” Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha said, summing up their approach toward the series.

Bangladesh are high on confidence following their landmark T20 whitewash on world champions England and would start the Ireland series as hot favourtie.

According to stat, Ireland which came here for the first time since 2008 for a bilateral series are no match for the Tigers. Of the 10 ODI matches between the two sides, Bangladesh won seven and lost just two while other match ended in a no result.

Ireland won the maiden encounter between the two sides in 2007 ODI World Cup in Bridgetown, West Indies and last time they beat Bangladesh in 2010 at Belfast. They could never put up any resistance in the matches they played against Bangladesh in the last decade.

This will be the two sides’ first match in this decade, having faced off each other in last encounter in 2019 at Dublin, a match of a tri-nation tournament that Bangladesh won comfortably by six wickets. Bangladesh indeed won their only major trophy in the history by beating West Indies, the other team of that tri-nation tournament.

Apart from the two series defeat at the hands of England in 2016 and most recently in the last month, Bangladesh have been invincible in ODIs at home since 2015.

Despite the absolute upper-hand over the tourists, whose capability to play the spin is also questionable and their own amazing record at home, Hathurusingha refused to let the players feel any complacency.

“Winning is always our aim whoever we play. No team is easy in international cricket. They beat England during the World Cup. On their day, any team can beat anyone,” he said, hinting that there be will some changes in best XI in the first ODI against Ireland as the team wants to expand the pool, eyeing the upcoming ODI World Cup in India.

“We are trying to expand our pool regardless of who we play. (But) we will try to win,” he said.

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal (Captain), Liton Das, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Towhid Hridoy, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Zakir Hasan

Ireland: Andrew Balbirnie (C), Harry Tector, Gareth Delany, Paul Stirling, Curtis Campher, Matthew Humphreys, Lorcan Tucker, Stephen Doheny, Mark Adair, George Dockrell, Graham Hume, Benjamin White, Andy McBrine, Joshua Little