ANDY BALBIRNIE pinpointed where Ireland’s return to Test cricket had gone wrong in Dhaka after Bangladesh completed a comfortable seven-wicket victory yesterday - and it wasn’t his side’s disastrous second-innings collapse.

The loss of those four wickets within seven overs had left Ireland facing an innings defeat before a superb 108 from Lorcan Tucker and half-centuries from Andy McBrine and Harry Tector restored pride and fleetingly raised hopes of an improbable win.

No, the Ireland skipper correctly blamed a lack of first innings runs for the loss after the home side had knocked over the last two Ireland wickets for the addition of only six on the fourth morning, and knocked off 138 to win.

“We all really enjoyed playing Test cricket again,” Balbirnie said. “You have to show a lot of fight, which we did, but obviously it wasn't enough in the end. 

“It's a learning curve for us, understanding that when you win the toss and bat in these conditions, you have to score more runs and bat much longer periods of time, as we did in the second innings.”

Ireland had hoped McBrine would push on from his 71 not out overnight and get enough support from Graham Hume and Ben White to set Bangladesh a nervy 180-odd for victory.

Sadly, the all-rounder added only a single before he was beaten by a ball from Ebadot Hossain that moved late and clipped off stump, and the right-arm seamer doubled up getting Hume caught behind to end the Ireland innings on 292.

The chase was a formality, with only the odd ball turning or keeping low, and the breakthrough required a dollop of luck as a Mark Adair bouncer found its way into Litton Das’s stumps via his helmet and bat.

McBrine’s wicket, his seventh of the game, came courtesy of an edge and Balbirnie just getting his fingers under the ball at slip, while leg-spinner Ben White had a catch taken at mid-wicket from a miscued pull.

“There are so many things to be happy about,” Balbirnie said. “Andy was brilliant with ball and bat, Lorcan with his century, Harry with two fifties in the match. 

“We’ve loved it here, and we'd love to be back in the future and hopefully play better cricket.”

The squad will fly down to Sri Lanka over the weekend to prepare for back-to-back Test matches in Galle where the lessons of the last four days should serve them well in what is expected to be another trial by spin.