Kevin O’Brien becomes Ireland’s first batsman to score Test century

By: Sports Desk | Updated: May 15, 2018 1:14:03 am

Kevin O'Brien, Kevin O Brien Ireland

Kevin O’Brien achieved the milestone in 186 deliveries. (Source: Reuters)

Kevin O’Brien scripted history after slamming an unbeaten 118 to become Ireland’s maiden Test centurion on Monday. O’Brien achieved the milestone in 186 deliveries in only his second Test innings. In his first innings, O’Brien had scored a fighting 40 but in his second outing he batted with intent and cut, drove and pulled with panache. While the other batsmen struggled to survive in seaming conditions, the burly right-hander hit 10 boundaries in during his sublime knock. His valuable contribution has given Ireland a glimmer of hope to secure a positive result in the only Test match against Pakistan in Dublin. Incidentally, O’Brien also holds the record of scoring the fastest World Cup hundred.

It was truly a remarkable day at Malahide as O’ Brien’s hundred guided Ireland into day five with a lead of 139 runs and three wickets in hand. This was after they were asked to follow-on by Pakistan on day 4. Ireland began their day trailing by 116 runs and at one point were reduced to 128/5. However, O’Brien’s stunning knock and a 114-run partnership with Stuart Thompson gave Ireland a handy lead of 139 ahead of the final day. If Ireland do manage to win the Test then they will be the third side – after England and India to win a Test match having been asked to follow-on.

Reflecting on his extraordinary knock the 34-year-old said, “It is pretty special. Test debut, the position we were in, it’s even more special. Could see in the last half hour – I was struggling a little bit. TK (Kane) batted really well at the other end. He kept out the tough balls and looked really comfortable. We need to start again tomorrow and try to build the lead as much as we can. First hundred in 7 years, well overdue.”

“The objective was to bat all day. It was still a pretty good wicket, got a little bit lower in the last half-hour. It’s very pleasing and it’s a proud moment for me,” he added.

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