England, Ireland fall at Cricket World Cup

RICHARD MAUNTAH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:14 PM ET

TORONTO - Friday turned out to be a day of intrigue and a near-upset in Group B at the Cricket World Cup.

At times, both Bangladesh and Ireland showed signs of making it a five-team race for the three remaining quarter-final positions with a little more than a week to go in the group stage.

In the end, Bangladesh kept their hopes alive with a desperate two-wicket win over England, reaching the finish line with one over to spare. But Ireland, who looked at times like they would upset the West Indies, fell 44 runs short.

In Chittagong, a week to the day after they scored just 58 against the West Indies and had their team bus attacked by disgusted fans, Bangladesh held England to 225 all-out despite a 109-run partnership from Jonathan Trott (67 runs) and Eoin Morgan (63). Once Trott’s wicket was lost to Shakib Al Hasan with six overs to bat, the English were unable to put on the late spurt necessary to give Bangladesh a difficult target. Abdur Razzak was the best of the bowlers, going two for 32 in his 10 overs.

Tamim Iqbal (38) and Imrul Kayes (60) opened well for Bangladesh. Al Hasan (32) helped them reach 155 for three at one point. However, not long after that they found themselves 169 for eight. But Mohammad Mahmudullah (21) and Shafiul Islam (24) carried them the rest of the way to their 227 for eight total.

While Ajmal Shahzad’s three wickets helped England’s cause, they were hurt by the 33 extras including 23 wides they yielded. Most of this silliness came in the latter overs as they simply cracked under the pressure.

Meanwhile in Mohali, India, the West Indies batted very tentatively for the first 25 overs. Devon Smith made 107 off 133 balls in over three hours of batting and Shivnarine Chanderpaul helped the opening partnership with 35. But only when Kieron Pollard show up did the fireworks begin. His 94 off 55 balls included five sixes and helped the islanders to a total of 275. Kevin O’Brien, who excited with the bat against England last week, did it with the ball this time taking four wickets for the Irish.

Ireland also started slowly but got a 91-run partnership from Ed Joyce (84) and Gary Wilson (61). But once the big bats were gone, Sulieman Benn (four wickets) and Darren Sammy (three) ensured Ireland finished with a meek five for 32 and a total of 231 all out.

“We bowled where we wanted to and that got us the victory,” Sammy, the West Indian captain said. “Partnerships do form, that’s the nature of the game, and we did well to stick to the basics.”

Action in Group B continues Saturday with a key match between India and South Africa.

richard.mauntah@sunmedia.ca


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