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Page last updated at 15:43 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 16:43 UK

Ireland advance to Super Eights

ICC World Twenty20 Group A:
Ireland 138-4 beat Bangladesh 137-8 by six wickets
Match scorecard

Kevin O'Brien

Highlights - Ireland see off Bangladesh

By Oliver Brett

Ireland knocked Bangladesh out of the ICC World Twenty20 to advance to the Super Eight phase of the tournament.

Brothers Niall and Kevin O'Brien hit the big shots as Ireland embarrassed their Test-standard opponents.

In a low-quality, low-scoring affair at Trent Bridge, Bangladesh struggled to 137-8, and Ireland got home with six wickets and 10 balls to spare.

Niall O'Brien shrugged off an ankle injury to smite 40 off 25 balls and Kevin added 33 over the closing overs.

Ireland's victory recalled their performance in the 2007 World Cup when they stunned Pakistan, and then beat Bangladesh in the Super Eights.

And it gave some credence to the remarks of the Irish Cricket Union's chief executive Warren Deutrom, who has complained of the "glass ceiling" that prevents associate members of the ICC from gaining Test status.

606: DEBATE
CattyIsGod

India's match against Ireland now becomes a meaningless contest. Both teams have made it through to their respective Super Eight groups, while Bangladesh, with two defeats in two, head home.

It was Ireland's Trent Johnston who got the ball rolling by wrecking the Bangladesh top order with 3-20 after his skipper William Porterfield had won the toss and elected to field first.

Man of the match Niall O'Brien said afterwards: "It was a brilliant team performance from all the lads. We've been watching the other matches and itching to get out there and we've put up a great performance.

"I thought we bowled really, really well. We would have taken 137 any day. Trent Johnston bowled a great spell for us up front. We thought the ball would swing around and the conditions definitely favoured us."

Bangladesh's top scorer was Mashrafe Mortaza, who hit an unbeaten 33 at number eight after his team had lurched horribly to 99-7 with just three overs to go.

Mortaza took two sixes and 20 runs in all off the final over, bowled by Alex Cusack, and that gave his team some momentum going into the second half of the match.

Mohammad Ashraful
Ashraful played a poor shot to present O'Brien with an easy catch

But although the Irish were put under pressure for a while by Bangladesh's corps of spinners, they came out on top with the bold shot-making of the two O'Briens.

Ireland were far from their best in the field, dropping two catches and making a series of fielding errors.

They had Johnston to thank for their early success, as he bowled all four of his overs in a single spell with the new ball.

Junaid Siddique and Shakib Al Hasan departed after attempting, and failing, to hit Johnston out of the ground, and Kevin O'Brien needed two attempts at first slip to give his former skipper the vital wicket of Mohammad Ashraful.

Bangladesh's captain was on one when trying to guide Johnston to third man, and O'Brien dropped him. Ashraful then hit Boyd Rankin for six and four quite majestically, but seemed determined to give O'Brien another chance, and this time he accepted it.

When Johnston was done Bangladesh were 56-3 from eight overs and already in trouble.

The middle order was held in check by slow bowlers Regan West and Kyle McCallan, and the wickets kept coming too.

Tamim Iqbal was unluckily run out when a throw rebounded off Cusack's chest onto the stumps, before a brilliant bit of work from wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien saw Mahmudullah stumped.

An unhappy innings of 13 from 20 balls by Raqibul Hasan came to an end when he was bowled by McCallan and West had Mushfiqur Rahim caught in the deep.

Trent Johnston
Johnston bowled well at the start

When Ireland started their chase, Mortaza, in his primary role as a fast bowler, then picked up the early wicket of Jeremy Bray.

But O'Brien, batting with a runner after injuring his ankle while keeping, took three sixes off Mortaza's third over - eyeing up and finding the short on-side boundary - and the chase was on.

When the left-hander took two further boundaries off the first over of spin, bowled by Mahmudullah, Ireland were in great shape.

At 47-1 from six overs, they barely needed a run a ball to get home. But although there were now only the mandatory four fielders inside the circle, dot balls built pressure and O'Brien finally went big again, only to hole out at long-off.

Porterfield had laboured somewhat for his 23, and pushed a catch back to Abdur Razzak, then Mortaza returned to remove Gary Wilson.

With five overs to go, 42 were still needed with six wickets in hand, but Kevin O'Brien deposited Mortaza into the stands and two boundaries off the next over, from Rubel Hossain, relieved all the pressure.

Appropriately O'Brien had the honour of striking the winning hit, with a well-struck drive over mid-off.

Niall O'Brien, who won the man of the match award, praised his brother's performance, adding: He came up to me yesterday and said 'I'm playing really badly, I'm playing really badly'. I said to him 'mate, it doesn't matter how you've played before the tournament starts'.

"Once you walk out for a competitive match, that's when it counts and Kev has done brilliantly for us again. He's as big a hitter as any of these teams have.

"He's a power tool to have towards the back end of the innings and he had great support from John Mooney."



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see also
World Twenty20 day four photos
08 Jun 09 |  Cricket
India too strong for Bangladesh
06 Jun 09 |  Cricket
'Glass ceiling' frustrates Irish
03 Jun 09 |  Cricket
World Twenty20 teams guide
03 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Twenty20 takes centre stage
01 Jun 09 |  Cricket
World Twenty20 ones to watch
31 May 09 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 2009
21 Jun 09 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 squads
10 Jun 09 |  Cricket


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