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Cricket | International

Shakib Al Hasan and William Porterfield © Gallo Images

'Tigers will survive Irish weather'



Shakib Al Hasan expects Bangladesh to improve the longer the Tri-Series in Ireland goes on after conceding it took time to get used to the conditions in their opening game against the hosts on Friday.

Bangladesh lost their first four wickets inside 15 overs but an unbroken stand of 87 between Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah put them back in control before rain ended the game after 31 overs.

"It is different to what we are used to early on and it was not easy, but as the ball got older and softer the ball was coming nicely onto the bat," said Shakib who was captaining the team in place of Mashrafe Mortaza, who was serving a one-game suspension.

"It was good experience, and we are now looking forward to the next game, against New Zealand (on Wednesday)."

Tamim Iqbal's hopes of scoring the first century of the series were cut short by the rain when he was 64 not out, having hit eight boundaries but Shakib was impressed by his batting as the opener led his side's recovery after losing four wickets for 70.

"Tamim played beautifully," said Shakib. "He applied himself really well and so did Mahmadullah (who was 43 not out). That partnership changed the momentum and we started controlling the game."

Indeed, Shakib believed that on the small Malahide ground, which will stage all four Ireland games in the six-match series, 300 is only a par score and they remained on course for that at 157 for four, with 19 overs remaining.

The New Zealanders may have 10 players still involved in the Indian Premier League but Shakib expects them to provide formidable opposition when they meet at the nearby Clontarf ground on the next two Wednesdays. They will also be seeking revenge from the last time they met the Blackcaps.

"They have a new team, as they are still in the IPL so they will be missing some experience, but they are still the second ranked (sic) team and they will come hard at us," he added.

"We played them a few months back, it wasn't a good memory as we didn't too well in New Zealand but these are different conditions, a different scenario and we are hoping to do well."

Ireland captain William Porterfield was pleased with his side's early bowling as they took advantage of the green pitch, having won the toss under overcast skies.

No-one was more impressive than Peter Chase, their 23-year-old opening bowler who, playing on his home ground, followed up his five wickets in last weekend's ODIs against England with another three-wicket haul.

"My confidence is going up every time I play, taking wickets obviously helps and hopefully I can continue doing that throughout the series," said Chase.

Ireland's next match is against New Zealand on Sunday.



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