IF Andy Balbirnie can lead his side to victory in the third one-day international in Sylhet today he will not only claim a share of the series at 1-1 but also become the first Ireland captain to taste success in Bangladesh.

After Saturday’s loss skipper Balbirnie said “We want to be beating teams like this on a regular basis” and that’s not an outlandish ambition against one of the lower ranked Test-playing nations.

But the reality is the Boys in Green have never come close to competing with the Tigers on home soil and an ill-fated venture in 2008 even signalled the end for one of Balbirnie’s predecessors.

After losing three ODIs by large margins in the space of five searing hot days, a bowed and beaten Trent Johnston called an end to his two-and-a-half-year reign in dramatic style, announcing his resignation in the dressing room, wrapped only in a towel.

Johnston’s successor William Porterfield fared marginally better at the start of the 2011 World Cup when Ireland lost by 26 runs, chasing 206 to win, but the result was never really in question and the defeat ultimately cost the losers a place in the quarter-finals.

The venue for today’s match in Sylhet also witnessed the most humiliating defeat of Phil Simmons’ eight years as coach, although it was the Netherlands chasing down 189 in 13.5 overs at 2014 World T20 - not the home side.

If the odds are to be upset today Balbirnie’s depleted attack, missing star paceman Josh Little, will have to give their batsmen a more realistic target to chase after conceding 338 on Saturday, and 11 more in Monday’s abandoned game.

The good news is this is not a World Cup qualifying series, and conditions will be very different in Chelmsford, in early May, for three matches that Ireland need to win.