Kevin O'Brien scripts another milestone for Ireland

O'Brien leads Irish fightback with century on debut

O'Brien leads Irish fightback with century on debut

Niall O'Brien was the hero when Ireland beat Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup, scoring a calm and assured 72 amid all the madness as Trent Johnston's team of part-timers shocked the world of cricket at Sabina Park, Kingston.

It was the 34-year-old O'Brien's first century for Ireland since he made the fastest-ever World Cup hundred by any batsman, off 50 balls, against England at Bangalore in 2011.

Ireland showed they belong at the Test level as they battled their way to a healthy lead at stumps on day four of the Dublin Test against Pakistan with Kevin O'Brien scoring the country's maiden Test century. It was a worrying sign for Pakistan, who next play a warm-up match against Leicestershire (May 19-20) before facing England in a two-Test series, with back-to-back fixtures at Lord's (May 24-28) and Headingley (June 1-5). Senior players Ed Joyce and William Porterfield shared a 69-run stand for the first wicket.

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

Overly-cautious field placements and Amir's sporadic use were helping, and it was no surprise that it took the return of Pakistan's chief threat to dismiss Gary Wilson, fishing outside off, to give Amir his 100th Test wicket.


Ireland began day four of the only Test against Pakistan on 64 without loss but found Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Abbas hard to handle.

"To get there, it's a great honour".

The centurion looked to be visibly tiring at the tail end of the day and almost chopped Abbas on shortly after edging Amir wide of the only slip and probably should have been out leg before in the final over of the day but he and Tyrone Kane (8*) would end the day still out there on 319 for 7 having added an unbroken stand of 48 for the seventh wicket to take Ireland to a lead of 139.

Fears that as soon as Ireland lost one wicket, another would follow quickly, were proved correct as 69 for one became 69 for two, with Andrew Balbirnie, for the second time in the match, was lbw to Mohammad Abbas for nought. 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. His first 14 Tests saw Amir take 51 wickets at just a fraction over 23 runs apiece, but his 16 completed Tests since his comeback yielded 44 wickets at a more expensive average of 37.25.

The lead of 139 is precarious and Ireland's chances of victory hinge on keeping the Dubliner at the crease as long as possible and then following that up with an inspired spell of bowling.

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