Mirpur, Feb 25: After doing an effective job at limiting Bangladesh to 205 all out in 49.2 overs, the Irish batting line-up gave away to the combination of Bangladeshi pace and spin and were bowled out for 178 in 45 overs. Niall O'Brien (38) and Kevin O'Brien (37) were the only batsmen who posed any real threat to the hosts. Pace bowler Shafiul Islam struck form with a noteworthy 4/21 in 8 over, the spin of Shakib Al Hassan and Mohammad Ashruful accounted for two wickets and Naeem Islam and Abdur Razzak picked up one wicket a piece.
The Irish innings got off to a much more circumspect start than that of Bangladesh with the first four coming only in the 6th over when Paul Stirling swept Razzak to backward square. But just two balls later, the opener was stumped sending the crowd into raptures. Stirling was on his way for 9 off 18 balls and Ireland were 23/1 in 5.3 overs.
Shakib Al Hasan was the next to strike, removing captain William Porterfield for 20 off 30 balls as Ireland slipped to 36/2 in 9.1 overs. The batsman had hoicked the ball straight into the hands of midwicket.
But there was defiant aggression from the other end, as Niall O'Brien counter-attacked with two fours in the same over. Just when it seemed that Ed Joyce and O'Brien were settling into a cosy little partnership, there was more trouble. Ashraful caught and bowled Joyce for 16 off 35 balls and Ireland were sliding at 75/3 in 18.1 overs.
Andrew White struck Shakib for a boundary in the 24th over, but in the next, was bowled by Ashraful for 10 and Ireland were in deeper trouble at 93/4.
Kevin O'Brien joined his brother Niall at the crease, but soon afterward, the latter departed for 38 off 52 balls, when Tamim Iqbal took a superb diving catch at square leg off the bowling of Shakib.
Half the Irish side was down with 110 runs on the board. Then Kevin O'Brien and Andre Botha launched something of a recovery. In the 33rd over, they teamed up to knock three boundaries of Ashraful.
However, just as the batting duo took the score past 150, Shafiul Islam sent back the dangerous Kevin O'Brien and suddenly Ireland was in distress again at 151/6 in 36.4 overs. Botha tried to keep the momentum going by striking a four off Naeem Islam, but John Mooney could not keep up his end and was bowled by the same bowler for a duck as Ireland sank to 164/7.
Trent Johnston got off the mark with a four of Naeem Islam, but in the very next over, a resurgent Shafiul bowled Botha for 22, reducing the Irish to 168/8 in 40.1 overs.
Shafiul then polished off the tail, trapping Johnston in front for 6 in the 43rd over and then having Boyd Rankin caught by Junaid Siddique at short midwicket for 3. Bangladesh had wrapped up the match by 27 runs with 30 balls left.