In what was already a historic occasion for Ireland cricket, Kevin O’Brien made it even more memorable.
The 34-year-old became the first player to score a Test century for Ireland, leading his side in a remarkable fightback against Pakistan in their maiden Test match.
It was fitting that O’Brien should be the one to carve out that particular slice of history. He was the architect of Ireland’s most famous innings to date, the match-winning 113 against England in the 2011 World Cup which at the time was the fastest-ever World Cup century.
In that innings he had come in when Ireland looked down and out, at 106-4 in a tall chase, and Monday’s moment of glory came in similar circumstances. His side were 95-4 in their second innings when he came out to bat, after Pakistan had bowled them out for 130 and enforced the follow-on. The Irish soon lost two more wickets, but O’Brien stitched a crucial partnership with Stuart Thompson (53) to bring them back into the match.
That partnership saw a few historic moments, as first O’Brien then Thompson reached their fifties, and went on to make Ireland’s first 100-run stand before Thompson was dismissed.
O’Brien’s moment came soon after, bringing up his century off the 186th delivery he faced, squirting an edge into the off-side. Ireland crossed the 300-run mark in a memorable day for both teams with Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir picking up his 100th wicket earlier in the day.
The opening pair of Ed Joyce and skipper William Porterfield resumed on their overnight score of 64-0 after following on.
Joyce went back to the pavilion following a run out while left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir, who was struggling with a knee problem, picked up two wickets as Ireland took lunch at 123-4.
Amir went on pick up his 100th Test wicket before Kevin O’Brien and Stuart Thompson (53) guided Ireland in the post tea session.
O’Brien finished the day unbeaten on 118 as the hosts finished the day on 319-7.
Stay updated with the ball-by-ball action from Dublin below.
Pakistan took control of the Dublin Test against Ireland after enforcing the follow on as they bowled the hosts out for 130. Pakistan had declared their first innings on 310 for nine.
Half-centuries from Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan helped Pakistan take control.
Thereafter, seamer Mohammad Abbas picked up four wickets and leg-spinner Shadab three at the Malahide Cricket Club Ground.
However, Ireland did well in the second essay as they reached 64 for no loss at stumps.
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