Jahanara Alam picks up her maiden 5-wicket haul. ©ICC

Bangladesh edge out Ireland in a last-ball thriller in the 1st T20I which was a close contest between the two teams just before the kickstart of T20 Qualifiers in July.

Bangladesh riding high on winning their maiden Asia Cup title fell short of expectations as Ireland fought strongly after a brutal domination in both ODI and T20 series by the White Ferns.

The chances looked bright for the Bangladeshis as Jahanara Alam stuck in the very 1st over. Though the wickets fell at constant intervals, Ireland tried to pick its pace throughout but failed drastically, as it ended the innings on an average score of 134 runs and losing 8 wickets. Isobel Joyce having experienced the WBBL gave a lone fight for Ireland by scoring 41 runs. While Gaby Lewis, Laura Delany, Kim Garth made seminal contributions of twenties to push Ireland to get past the 130 run mark.

Right-arm-pacer Jahanara Alam rattled most of the line-up of Irish players to register her maiden International T20 five-wicket-haul. Captain Khatun and Khadija Tul Kubra picked 1 wicket each. Surprisingly, Asia Cup final’s star player, Rumana Ahmed went wicketless in the opening match.

Bangladesh put to chase an achievable target in hand; Eimear Richardson made a good plot to send the opening player Shamima Sultana back to pavilion in the 2nd over. As Bangladesh were struggling with 68/3 to get a lead in the chase as Nigar Sultana came to their rescue scoring 46 runs off 38 balls with 6 fours to her name. As Nigar got out in the 18th over, Bangladesh found itself compelled to score 20-runs of 14 balls to strike gold. Fahima Khatun’s classic way of striking with ease and her composed innings of 26* till the end held the match in favour of Bangladesh. Ireland pulled the match so close with the commendable effort by Eimear Richardson and Gaby Lewis who struck twice in the match.

The 1st T20I match at YMCA Cricket ground, Dublin ended in Bangladesh’s favour as they lead the series 1-0. The next match will be held at “The Village” in Dublin on June 29th. Bangladesh is in a state of another revival like that of the Asia cup this year as Ireland are delivering their bit of strengths to the tourists.