Ireland’s most experienced batsman Kevin O’Brien scripted history on day 4 of their historic Test match against Pakistan by scoring the first century for Ireland.
Ireland, who were given follow-on by Pakistan, started off their second innings on a good note but they lost their first wicket at a score of 69 runs and kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were 127 for the loss of 5 wickets at a stage. But then, Kevin O’Brien played a great unbeaten knock with Stuart Thompson and became the first batsman to score the maiden hundred for the country. With this ton, he became only the fifth batsman in the history of cricket to score a century in the first Test played by their nation.
The century brought Ireland back in the game, rather in a commanding position as they finished day 4 with a lead of 100 plus in their hands.
Kevin, 34, had played this kind of game changing innings earlier as well. In a match of 2011 World Cup against England, Ireland were 111 for 5 at a stage and they were chasing big target of 327 runs in Bangalore. Their team had already lost the hope but then Kevin O'Brien stood at the helm of a stirring day of cricket when the tables slowly and unexpectedly began to turn in their favour.
He made 113 runs off just 63 balls to help his team win the match and that innings became the highlight of his career. But scoring the maiden century for the country which helped them get out of the crunch again can become the best innings of his career too.
"For me, Bangalore is definitely No.1, for the sheer moment of where it was and who it was against, in the World Cup. If I I can continue [tomorrow] for another hour and a half, to 170-odd, this could top it. We'll have to see how we pull up tomorrow," O'Brien said after the day's play.
"Batting for five hours takes its toll. But Thompson was brilliant after tea, he took pressure off me, letting me score in singles while we were going at 3.5 an over, and for TK to bat 60-odd balls in tough circumstances against an unbelievably high quality attack, hats off," O'Brien said.
"It's a new-ball wicket," he observed. "There's still a bit of nibble around and if it's overcast, it'll certainly swing. If we can get up 180-odd that gives us a chance of hopefully a draw, and if we can get a few to stay low, we've a great chance to put them under pressure."
About the Author
Shekhar Dhingra is a sports journalist with 1.5 years of experience, having worked with sports business website "Market4Sports". He resides in New Delhi and is a die-hard sports fan with special affection for cricket and badminton. He desperately waits for weekend to relax his soul by playing cricket.