Bangladesh A set 1-0 lead in the three-match unofficial T20 series having a four-wicket victory against host Ireland A in the first game at Castle Avenue in Dublin on Monday.
Winning team captain Soumya Sarker hit five boundaries and three sixes for a 41-ball 57 in the day-night affair for 155 for 6 in 18 overs, in reply to a total of 152 for all in 20 overs, posted by Ireland A after opting to bat first.
Opening the innings for their chase, Bangladesh A shockingly lost their left-handed opener Zakir Hasan on zero as Andy McBrine bowled him out in the very first ball, but the three other left-handed batsmen Soumya, Nazmul Hossain Shanto [23-ball 38] and Afif Hossain [21*-ball 35] boosted the success with their quick innings.
Another left-handed batsman Mohammad Saifuddin [4*off 3b] polished the last boundary of the match to shore the win after unbeaten Afif’s four boundaries and one six in the seventh wicket.
Losing his opening partner on beginning, Soumya controlled his nerve and built up the solid second partnership stand of 62 off 7.3 overs with Shanto, who hammered seven boundaries in his innings and was removed from partnership by Peter Chase.
Adding a steady run-a-ball-21 with two boundaries in the second partnership, Soumya continued in the next wicket of 19-ball 44 partnering with Mohammad Mithun [7-ball 8; 1×6] to carry the team total to a 106/3 in 10.4 overs before Mithun was caught by William Porterfield off Andy McBrine.
In the 3rd wicket, Soumya’s style was fierce to hammer three sixes and two boundaries to contribute a 12-ball 33, including 5-ball 16 in the 10th over. Soumya completed his fifth Twenty20 fifty before lbw by Andy McBrinetra on 110/4 in 12.1 overs.
Andy McBrine (3/23) and Peter Chase (2/29) shared five wickets for Ireland A.
In the Ireland A innings, Simi Singh top-scored with 37-ball 41, including one boundary and two sixes, before being caught by Zakir Hasan off Shariful Islam on 148/7 in 18.4 overs.
Among other Irish scorers, opener Stuart Thompson [19-ball 28 with four fours], and Kevin O Brien [12-ball 21 with two boundaries and one six] could cross the 20-runs mark as Bangladesh bowlers got wickets in a gradual interval.
Saifuddin (2/12), Shariful Islam (2/31) and Taijul Islam (2/35) equally shared six wickets for Bangladesh A while Afif (1/16) — brought the first breakthrough– and Nayeem Hasan (1/31) shared two wickets.
The next matches of the series will be held at Castle Avenue on August 15 while the third and last match at Malahide Cricket Club Ground on August 17.
Both matches will begin at 9pm [Bangladesh time].