It is definitely not the first time that Kevin O’Brien has come to the rescue of Irish national cricket team, as he stood as a rock in the centre to slowly and unexpectedly turn the tables in their favour.
Cricket news: Bangalore is definitely No. 1, but if I can continue, this could top that: Kevin O’Brien
It was March 2, 2011 in Bangalore when Ireland were playing a world cup game against England. The English batsmen had scored a massive total of 327 and at one point Ireland were struggling with 111 for 5.
This is when Kevin O’Brien came to bat and scored 113 off 63 balls and took his team over the line. Many had thought that would be his highlighting moment of his career.
But after seven years, the history-maker finds himself once again in the middle of something special, which might out-do the Bangalore brilliance.
On the historic fourth day of their debut test match against Pakistan, Ireland had a shaky start as they got all-out for 130 in the first innings in reply to Pakistan’s 310 for 9.
They were forced to follow-on and after an overnight score of 64 for 0, they slipped to 123 for 4 by lunch in the 4th day. From there thanks to Kevin O’Brien and his outstanding century, they have taken a healthy lead of 139 runs and are getting hopeful to win their debut test.
The 34-year-old became the fifth player to score a ton in their nation’s debut Test match, and is hopeful that if he can continue his innings can overtake the Bangalore heist.
“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,” said O’Brien after the 4th day’s play.
He also praised his lower order teammate Stuart Thompson, who scored a half-century, with whom he added a 114-run partnership.
“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,” said O’Brien.
“It’s a new-ball wicket. 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,” O’Brien added.
“It [Test century] 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. There’s no reason why we can’t. We’ve just got to start off well tomorrow,” O’Brien concluded.