Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

Kevin O'Brien scores first Test ton for Ireland

Kevin O'Brien scores Ireland's first Test hundred Kevin O'Brien becomes Ireland's first batsman to score Test century
Shannon Reynolds | 15 May, 2018, 12:52

Batting first Pakistan made 310 for 9 and in reply, Ireland made 130 in their first innings.

With O'Brien one shy, Pakistan brought on Mohammad Amir, who had already accounted for Irish captain William Porterfield, O'Brien's brother Niall and Gary Wilson to reach 100 Test wickets.

However, he insisted that the moment, though "very proud and emotional", still ranked second in his personal annals, behind the blistering 50-ball hundred with which he stunned England at Bangalore in the 2011 World Cup.

"If I can continue on tomorrow (Tuesday) for another hour and a half, that 118 changes to 170-odd, this could top it".

Amir's three wickets earlier in the day had put Pakistan into a position from which an innings win seemed entirely possible - even likely - but O'Brien and Stuart Thompson combined for a 114-run rearguard that not only pushed Ireland in front and burnished local pride, but allowed them to sleep on the possibility of another famous upset.

O'Brien has looked a veteran of the Test arena in his first five-day match.

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The third-wicket partnership had only got to 25 when O'Brien was bowled, playing across the line to Amir, and when Porterfield followed for the addition of only one more run, a good diving catch to his left by the keeper, Ireland were 95-4.

Proud parents Brendan, himself a former global, and Camilla were there and along with everyone else rose as one as O'Brien did a little jig of delight before he had completed the second run which took him to 101.

"To get there, it's a great honour". Ireland did a great comeback on the end of the fourth day.

Ireland have an outside chance of winning their inaugural cricket test after Kevin O'Brien led a second-innings recovery with an unbeaten century to see his team lead Pakistan by 139 runs on Monday heading into the final day. The match was scheduled to begin on May 11 (Friday) but it could only start on Saturday after the first day was completely washed out due to rain.

Ireland resumed on 64 for none but they lost four wickets before lunch, with Amir taking two for none in six balls - a heartening sign for Pakistan ahead of their two-Test series in England that will feature back-to-back fixtures at Lord's (May 24-28) and Headingley (June 1-5).

When Thompson did eventually fall, less cool heads than O'Brien might have anxious about their tilt at three figures, as it was he placed full faith in Tyrone Kane, the pair picking up exactly where Ireland had left off.

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