O'Brien hits historic ton as Ireland fight back

Adjust Comment Print

Kevin O'Brien is hoping his latest worldwide ton will lead to an Ireland victory - just as his century against England did at the World Cup seven years ago.

In fairness to the wicketkeeper, with the first day washed out and a two-Test series in England on the horizon, it looked a reasonable decision when Ireland managed just 130 in reply to Pakistan's 310 for nine declared at the Malahide Cricket Club.

On Day 4, Ireland resuming their second innings on 64-0 after following on and still needed 116 more runs to make Pakistan bat again.

At stumps, Tyrone Kane (8) was at the crease with O'Brien following a critical seventh-wicket partnership between the century-maker and Stuart Thompson (53).


This was O'Brien's first hundred for Ireland in all formats since he hit the all-time fastest-ever World Cup century by any batsman, off 50 balls, against England at Bangalore in 2011.

Since the first day of the Test was washed-out, the toss took place on Day 2 and as a result, the provisions for four-day games became applicable.

He scored a quality 40 in the first innings before flailing into the covers but gave no chances yesterday as he dominated the pace and spin of Pakistan, quietly accumulating ones and twos interspersed by powerful drives.

"It was a very proud and emotional moment, to get there is a great honour, and hopefully we've put ourselves in a good position to go on and win it", he added.


Niall O'Brien was the hero when Ireland beat Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup, scoring a calm and assured 72 amid all the madness as Trent Johnston's team of part-timers shocked the world of cricket at Sabina Park, Kingston. However, the away side made a strong comeback with their lower order and went on to declare at 310/9 just before lunch on Day 3 as debutant Faheem Ashraf scored a memorable 83.

It wasn't for want of trying but insane running continued to be a feature of the first hour of the day with Niall fortunate that a throw missed the stumps as he dived in to avoid being the second player to get a pair. Ireland has a lead of 139 runs and its three wickers are remaining. Senior players Ed Joyce and William Porterfield shared a 69-run stand for the first wicket.

The Ireland captain's 120-ball stay was ended on 32 by a slip catch, Paul Stirling was struck on the front pad as his bat made contact too late and when Gary Wilson edged to slip Ireland were still 23 behind with only four wickets in hand.

"Obviously they bring on their strike bowler, I was hoping there was one more over from Shadab (Khan) because I was fairly comfortable against him".


Comments