Tigers hit with reality check

Many might have expected Ireland to be bundled out within the first session of the third day. There were conversations after the end of the second day’s play on whether Bangladesh would seal an innings victory in the Mirpur Test on Thursday. But things took a massive turn and the Tigers now find themselves under pressure while the visitors see a faint glimmer of hope of a miraculous maiden Test victory.

Ireland were 27 for four, absolutely down and out at the start of the day, but did they fight back brilliantly in the match! They’ve lost only four wickets all day taking their total to 286/8. And now they have a lead of 131 runs with two wickets in hand going into the fourth day of the match.

Lorcan Tucker had a day to remember with a century on debut. He became only the second Ireland batter to score a hundred on his Test debut after Kevin O’Brien. He is also the ninth batter to score a hundred on debut coming in at number seven.

But Tucker wasn’t alone. Harry Tector bagged his second fifty on debut, while Andy McBrine followed up his six-wicket haul with a superb innings of unbeaten 71.

Tector, after his brilliant fifty in the first innings, got stuck in at the crease along with Tucker, and the duo batted with grim resolve after losing Peter Moor in the opening hour of the day.

Tector and Tucker added 74 runs in the sixth wicket partnership before Taijul Islam trapped Tector for LBW soon after the latter reached his fifty. Tector struck seven fours and one maximum in his 56-run innings. His departure brought some hope to the Tigers’ camp but Tucker carried on unfazed.

Tucker was then joined by McBrine in the middle, who deserves his own laurels. The duo shared a 111-run stand for the seventh wicket to take Ireland into a lead and beyond. Tucker started expressing himself a bit more and stroked himself to a richly deserved century.

He eventually fell for 106 runs trying to up the ante. His 226-minute innings consisted of 14 boundaries and one maximum. Ebadot Hossain brought the much-needed breakthrough.

But McBrine was still at the other end. He carried on with handy little partnerships with Mark Adair and Graham Hume to take Ireland’s lead beyond 100. Adair departed for 13 after a 31-run stand but Hume stayed on with McBrine till the end of the day.

McBrine was in 84% control in his unbeaten 71-run innings on Thursday. He scored runs all over the ground but the third-man area saw him score the most runs (20). He hit eight boundaries and one maximum. He survived an LBW shout which was primarily given out, but he reviewed it instantly and saw it getting overturned in his favour.

Bangladesh were listless on the field, to say the least. Their bowlers failed to create chances throughout the day allowing Ireland to seize control of the proceedings.

Taijul Islam was the pick of the bowler with his two wickets on the day. Shoriful Islam and Ebadot picked up a wicket each. Taijul has now bagged nine wickets in the match, including his four in the second innings. Shakib bowled just six overs in the whole day, leaving questions and speculations regarding his involvement in the match again.

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