Kevin O’Brien the hero as Ireland stun England

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Updated: March 2, 2011

Ireland    329-7 (49.7 overs)                     beat       England   327 – 8 (50.0 overs)                    by 3 wickets

A sensational innings from Kevin O’Brien, who scored the fastest   century  in World Cup Cricket history, saw Ireland come from behind to defeat England in this ‘thrill a minute ‘ fixture at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.

England had made 327 for 8 in their first innings and seemed headed for a comfortable win when O’Brien came to the wicket. By any standards his was an immense innings  hitting six sixes and 13 fours in a 50-ball hundred .He was the dominant partner in a stand  of 162 with Alex Cusack (47).

From the outset England batted confidently with Jonathan Trott (92) and Ian Bell (81) their mainstay Trott in the process  earning his place in cricket record books  as the joint quickest batsman to 1,000 one-day international runs.

But most certainly England did nothing to help themselves when Ireland were batting , dropping five catches in all, including O’Brien and Cusack once each.It simply was not England’s finest hour in the field.

What had the Irish heroes to say later:

“I don’t think it’s quite sunk in,” said 26-year-old O’Brien, after this famous win  better even than Ireland’s shock World Cup triumph over Pakistan in 2007.

“It’s probably the best innings I’ve ever played. I just hit the ball pretty well and got a bit of luck and things went my way. I just kept going and kept attacking.

“When we were 111-5   I said to myself we could have just pottered around and got 220 off 50 overs for eight or nine and the game would have been pretty boring to watch.

“But I just chanced my arm and said I was going to be as positive as I can and got a few away and didn’t look back.”

It was the highest successful run chase in World Cup history, beating Sri Lanka’s 313 against Zimbabwe at New Plymouth in New Zealand in 1992

“It’s pretty amazing,” said Ireland batsman Alex Cusack, who made  47 in that key sixth-wicket partnership  with O’Brien.

“I was just trying to knock it around for Kev. He’s got the power. That was my job and he was playing the big shots.”

England captain Andrew Strauss said: “We thought we’d done a reasonable job with the bat and we got Ireland at five down and things were looking pretty comfortable.

“But we weren’t reckoning on an outstanding innings from Kevin O’Brien. It was pretty brutal.”

Mooney struck several superb blows of his own on his way to 33 not out to complete a fine all-round display after he had claimed 4-63 with the ball.

O’Brien went to fifty in 30 balls when he pulled Anderson for six.

He then lofted Anderson for an enormous six over midwicket, with television replays estimating the ball had carried for 102 metres, the longest of the tournament.

How did England Captain Andrew Strauss rate O’Brien’s performance and his own team’s display?

“”It was an outstanding innings – the gall he showed to take the game to us in that situation,” said the England captain.

“They took the powerplay, and Kevin O’Brien struck the ball beautifully.

“He rescued them from a pretty perilous position to one where they were up with the rate and just needed to keep their heads in the end.

“It was a bit of a shock to us, and I’m bitterly disappointed because we did a lot of things badly in the field again.”

“We could have taken our catches.

He added: “I thought we were in a great position to win the game.

“We knew they had some dangerous hitters in the back-end of their order – but with the rate climbing as much as it was, it seemed if we could stay patient we would pick up wickets.”

“We’re not out of the World Cup by any means – but we need to be better than we were today.

“But you have to give credit to Kevin O’Brien and the whole Ireland side for the way they chased that down.

“They have a pretty experienced side and have done it before in World Cups – and they will continue to run the major nations pretty close in this competition.”

Result    Ireland beat England by 3 wickets

England

Batsman              How Out              Runs      Balls       4s            6s                SR

A Strauss             bowled Dockrell                34           37           2              1                91.89

K Pietersen          c N O’Brien b Stirling       59           50           7              2                118.00

J Trott   bowled Mooney               92           92           9              0                100.00

I Bell       c Stirling b Mooney         81           86           6              1                94.19

P Collingwood   c K O’Brien b Mooney     16           11           0              1                145.45

M Prior bowled Johnston             6              5              1              0                120.00

T Bresnan            c Johnston b Mooney     4              8              0              0                50.00

M Yardy               bowled Mooney               3              6              0              0                50.00

G Swann              not out 9              5              1              0                180.00

Extras   b 1, lb 2, nb 0, w 20, p 0  23

Total      8 wkts, 50.0 overs            327         (6.54 runs per over)

Bowler  O             M            R             W            Wd         NB             Econ

Rankin  7              0              51           0              4              0              7.29

Johnston             10           0              58           2              0              0              5.80

Cusack  4              0              39           0              2              0              9.75

Dockrell                10           0              68           1              4              0              6.80

Mooney               9              0              63           4              1              0              7.00

Stirling  10           0              45           1              0              0              4.50

Fall of Wickets

1              90             A Strauss             (13.4 overs)

2              111           K Pietersen          (17.0 overs)

3              278           I Bell       (43.0 overs)

4              288           J Trott   (44.3 overs)

5              299           M Prior                 (46.0 overs)

6              312           P Collingwood   (47.0 overs)

7              317           M Yardy               (48.3 overs)

8              327           T Bresnan            (50.0 overs)

To Bat: S Broad, J Anderson.

Ireland (Target = 328 in 50 overs)

Batsman              How Out              Runs      Balls       4s            6s                SR

W Porterfield     bowled Anderson            0              1              0              0                0.00

P Stirling              c Pietersen b Bresnan     32           28           5              1                114.29

E Joyce  st Prior b Swann               32           61           3              0                52.46

N O’Brien             bowled Swann  29           36           2              1                80.56

G Wilson              lbw b Swann      3              14           0              0                21.43

K O’Brien              run out 113         63           13           6                179.37

A Cusack              run out 47           58           3              1                81.03

J Mooney            not out 33           30           6              0                110.00

T Johnston          not out 7              4              1              0                175.00

Extras   b 5, lb 16, nb 0, w 12, p 0               33

Total      7 wkts, 49.1 overs            329         (6.69 runs per over)

Bowler  O             M            R             W            Wd         NB             Econ

Anderson            8.1          1              49           1              1              0              6.00

Broad    9              0              73           0              2              0              8.11

Bresnan               10           0              63           1              2              0              6.30

Yardy    7              0              50           0              2              0              7.14

Swann  10           0              47           3              0              0              4.70

Collingwood       5              0              26           0              0              0              5.20

Fall of Wickets

1              0                W Porterfield     (0.1 overs)

2              62             P Stirling              (9.5 overs)

3              103           N O’Brien             (20.2 overs)

4              106           E Joyce                  (22.2 overs)

5              111           G Wilson              (24.2 overs)

6              273           K O’Brien              (41.3 overs)

7              317           K O’Brien              (48.1 overs)

To Bat: G Dockrell, B Rankin

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