Tigers face off Ireland to complete ‘mission whitewash’

Bangladesh are determined to come up with another stellar show in a bid to inflict a whitewash on Ireland when they take on the visitors in the third and final T20 International at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here tomorrow (Friday).

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

The Tigers had already wrapped up the series, winning the first match by 22 runs through DLS method and second one by 77 runs. Both of the matches were hit by rain but that mattered little for Bangladesh which put up a ruthless performance to keep them on track of making a giant in this format.

Another victory which is highly likely going by their performance would help them sweep two consecutive series. Earlier they whitewashed world champions England in three-match T20 series. Their victory in the second game against Ireland was their fifth in a row, making it their longest streak in this format. There is a chance to extend the streak.

But more than streak or anything else, Bangladesh looked inclined to create a brand that would make them a force like ODI in this format.

“We wanted to put up the same performance we did in the past few games and we did it well. If we want to be a great side, we have to go out there and express ourselves from ball one,” Shakib said, stressing on the importance of playing a fearless cricket to be a giant in this format. “That’s what we discussed and agreed that’s how we’re going to play.”

Bangladesh broke a number of records before winning three-match ODI series against Ireland by 2-0. One match was washed out.

Keeping up that trend, Bangladesh’s two dominating victories in T20 series saw a number of records break. They compiled two 200 plus scores for the first times in their history in row and they could have well broken the record of highest total which is 215 if they were able to play full 20 overs.

Opener Liton Das hit the quickest fifty by a Bangladeshi batter when he reached the feat off 18 deliveries, eclipsing Ashraful’s 20 ball-fifty, during the course of his marauding 41 ball-81. Skippper Shakib Al Hasan claimed 5-22, his second five-for which also put him on top of the T20 International wicket-taker list. Rony Talukdar played two impactful innings and also shared a national record of 124-run for the opening stand with Liton in the second game.

Ireland indeed were no match in the five matches they played against Bangladesh in this tour so far.

It looks Ireland need weather support if they want to avoid the T20 whitewash, which will be their second at the hands of Bangladesh following 3-0 loss at their own den in 2012.

Shakib Al Hasan hinted at some changes in the team but at the same time made it clear, regardless of the changes, the only goal will be to sweep the series.

“If you’re a good team, when you go to Australia or England, they always try to win 3-0 if they’re up 2-0, we’ll try the same. No chance of us being complacent. We might try a few new players but they’ll be just as hungry to do well,” Shakib said.

Ireland stand in skipper Paul Stirling admitted that Bangladesh are “a very strong team” but added he “didn’t think it was going to be this one-sided.”

He however expected to put up some resistance in tomorrow’s match

“We have to think about team selection. We’ll have an unused pitch on Friday and hopefully we’ll be one step ahead. There’s no dead-rubber as far as we’re concerned and we want to … show we’re serious.”

Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (Captain), Liton Das, Rony Talukdar, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Towhid Hridoy, Shamim Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Rishad Hossain, Jaker Ali Anik.

Ireland: Paul Stirling (Captain), Mark Adair, Ross Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Graham Hume, Matthew Humphreys, Barry McCarthy, Fionn Hand, Conor Olphert, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young.

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