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Bangladesh- Ireland Series

Balbirnie: We felt we had a chance to win this Test



Photo: Cricfrenzy

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Ireland skipper believed that they had the absolute chance to Andre Balbirnieake the game away from Bangladesh but their lack of experience in longer version game was exposed finally and caused their defeat by seven wickets.

Ireland lost the three-match ODI by 2-0 and T20 series by 2-1 but put up a huge fight in the Test. After being left to a precarious 27-4 and still needing 128 runs to force Bangladesh to bat for a second time, at the end of day two, many believed Ireland would be rolled out easily on day three.

But in contrast to the popular belief, they dug in and grittily batted out the third day to give themselves faint hope.

Lorcan Tucker hit a century, complemented by career-best half-centuries by Harry Tector and Andy McBrine, to help Ireland survive day three and reach stumps on 286-8, leading Bangladesh by 131 runs. But on day four, they were able to add just six runs to be bowled out for 292 and set a 138-run target for Bangladesh to win the game.

"Hundred per cent (felt we had a chance of winning this morning). The wicket was still pretty good, Ebadot bowled well, he attacked the stumps but we were confident we could get a 180 lead. Our message was all the pressure was on Bangladesh," Balbirnie said.

"If they had lost this game there would have been a lot more people in this press room. Even if they were 100 for none chasing 130 the pressure was on them, no-one expected Ireland to come here and win a Test match. We knew we needed early wickets but the way Liton played took the momentum away but we stuck at it, created chances, but it just wasn't to be."

According to Balbirnie if they could extend the lead to 170/180, they could have given them a shot to win the game. But Ebadot's bowling and later Liton's batting made the difference.

But, he hoped they would learn from the mistakes and show better performance in their next series in Sri Lanka.

"It was certainly backs to the wall stuff on day two and a lot of people probably wrote us off yesterday but our day was as good a Test day as Ireland as had - the character, application and skill. It was a pretty good wicket - still good today - and if we got a 170-180 lead who knows but having been 13 for four and to get a lead and hopefully give them a bit of a fright was good but we will just try to take as many learnings as we can into Sri Lanka next week," he added.

Ireland had six debutants in this match and no one expected such a strong performance from them against an experienced side like Bangladesh. Balbirnie is happy to exceed the expectation but stressed on the requirements to continue this sort of performance. He also emphasized on playing first class match regularly.

"The biggest one is the first innings, batting first in these conditions you have to make it count and get a big score and that sets you up well for the game. We maybe didn't show the application we did in the second innings but we haven't played a lot of first class cricket, never mind Test cricket so we just have to learn that stuff pretty quickly and if we get ourselves into that position next week it means we must put something on our wicket if we got to 20, 30, 40 and make big hundreds like Mushy did in the first innings,"Balbirnie said.