Shakib, Liton dazzle in Tigers thumping win over Ireland
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan and opener Liton Das came up with terrific performance to script Bangladesh’s 77-run win over Ireland in the second T20 International at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here today.
The victory helped Bangladesh take an unassailable 2-0 lead following their 22-run win in the first game by DLS method.
Shakib and Liton were instrumental in the victory which saw a number of records break in the dominating victory.
Opener Liton Das smashed a swashbuckling 41 ball-83 as Bangladesh compiled 202-3 in the second T20 International against Ireland, which was reduced to a 17-over game after rain halted the game twice.
Liton brought up his fifty off just 18 deliveries, which was fastest by a Bangladeshi batter, eclipsing Mohammad Ashraful’s 20 ball-fifty against West Indies in 2007 T20 World Cup. He clobbered 10 fours and three sixes overall.
Bangladesh scored runs at 11.88 per over, comfortably their best in their history and a full over game could potentially help them go past their highest total of 215 in this format.
Shakib Al Hasan who hammered an unbeaten 38 off 24, laced with three fours and two sixes, pushed the Bangladesh’s total past 200 for the consecutive second match for the first time in their history and then got into act in style with cherry as he claimed 5-22 to restrict Ireland to 125-9.
It was his second-best bowling figures in T20 International after a 5-20 against West Indies in Mirpur in 2018.
This was also the fourth time that Shakib scored more than 20 runs and taken four wickets in a T20I – most by any player. India’s Hardik Pandya comes next to Shakib in this regard as the Indian pace-bowling all-rounder scored 20-plus runs and taken four wickets in a T20I three times.
After his tremendous bowling show, Shakib now has 136 wickets in 114 matches, pushing New Zealand’s Tim Southee to second in the list with 134 wickets in 107 T20Is.
Opener Rony Talukdar, fresh from his 38 ball-67, smoked 44 off 23 with three fours and two sixes.
Put into bat first again, Liton and Rony gave Bangladesh a whirlwind start, sending the Irish bowlers at the receiving end.
Treating them with utmost disdain, they racked up 73 runs in the first power play, which was for the first five overs, instead of the six, since the match was reduced for three overs. Earlier in the first match Bangladesh put up a record 81 runs in the first six overs.
They might not break the power play record but brought up 100 runs off just 43 legal deliveries to set another record, putting a shed on the previous fastest 100 that also came against the same opponent in the last match off 53 balls.
After a comparatively quiet first over that fetched 8 runs, Liton kick-started the party with two fours off Mark Adair and then went on to berserk in a way that was beyond imagination.
He went after on every Irish bowler’s ruthlessly to quickly reach his 49 off 17 deliveries and then took a single off leg-spinner Ben White past backward square leg to complete his 10th fifty off 18 balls.
Rony Talukdar who watched Liton turning his bat into sword to cut through the Irish bowlers mercilessly then broke the shackle and struck leg-spinner Gareth Delany two sixes to make the matter worse for Irish bowlers further.
As things looked completely out of control for the visitors, Rony mishit one against Ben White to be caught at long-on and it brought an end to the 124-run partnership for the opening stand.
Liton looked like a batter to complete his ton as he continued his merciless attack. But White, who took 2-28 denied him what could have been his maiden century when he nicked one that spun away.
After Liton’s dismissal, skipper Shakib Al Hasan and Towhid Hridoy further came down heavily on the Irish bowlers to keep the runs flowing.
They added 61 off just 30 balls before Hridoy was dismissed in the penultimate delivery by Mark Adair (1-52) after contributing 24 off 13.
Ireland received a major setback when fast blower Taskin Ahmed had Paul Stirling caught by Liton in the first delivery of the innings.
Shakib then got into act, with a slower delivery that baffled Lorcan Tucker (6). He then struck twice in his second over to get the better of Ross Adiar and Gareth Delany for single digit figure.
Shakib continued to bowl and gave Bangladesh another double wicket over to complete his second five-for, dismissing George Dockrell and Harry Tector who struck three sixes for his 16 ball-22.
Curtis Campher resisted as Shakib completed his four overs quota in one spell.
But Taskin Ahmed who finished with 3-27 and Hasan Mahmud (1-6) kept them in check with Campher hitting 50 off 30.
The third and final T20 game is on Friday.