Paul Stirling praised his Ireland attack for battling back after a horror start to the first of three T20 internationals in Chattogram yesterday, but Bangladesh still ran out comfortable winners by 22 runs (DLS Method) in a rain-effected clash.

Stand-in skipper Stirling won the toss and chose to bowl, only to see the Tigers race to 81-0 after the powerplay before Ireland gained a measure of control and restricted the home side to 207-5 from 19.2 overs when rain stopped play.

“We came back well with the ball in the last 10 overs,” Stirling said. “It was disappointing to lose because we had the best of the conditions as it got easier to bat.”

Ireland certainly didn’t have the best of the DLS calculation that asked them to score 104 from eight overs after the rain stopped but Stirling and Ross Adair raised hopes by belting 32 from the truncated two-over powerplay.

Adair was then tied down for the first three deliveries of the next over, and yorked by the fourth, and a three-wicket burst in five balls by Taskin Ahmed, including hitting the top of Stirling’s off stump, reduced Ireland to 40-4 and all but settled the outcome.

The Boys in Green finished well short of their target on 81-5 but will take heart from the return from injury of seam bowler Craig Young who claimed 2-45 in his first competitive bowl since July.

The second game is tomorrow at the same venue.