O'Brien century gives Ireland hope against Pakistan

O'Brien century gives Ireland hope against Pakistan

O'Brien century gives Ireland hope against Pakistan

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.

William Porterfield's men had looked in danger of an innings defeat when Mohammad Amir (3-57), showing no effects of the knee problem that caused him to leave the field on Sunday, made Gary Wilson (12) his 100th Test scalp and left the hosts 23 runs behind with only four wickets intact.

The owner of the fastest World Cup century - that stunning 50-ball effort against England in 2011 - took 186 deliveries to reach the mark this time, with 10 fours, and added two more to reach stumps on 118 not out, with Ireland 319-7 and leading by 139.

Kevin O'Brien scored Ireland's first Test hundred when he reached three figures against Pakistan on the fourth day of their inaugural match at this level at Malahide on Monday. "Hopefully now we've put ourselves in a good position to try and go ahead and win it".

Kevin etched his name into the history books with an unbeaten 118 to guide the hosts to 319/7 on the fourth day of the Dublin Test.

Nearly five hours later, when he reached three figures, O'Brien - at 34 the third oldest of the 105 players to score a century on Test debut - had faced 186 balls and hit 10 boundaries and Ireland were 116 runs in front.

It seemed then only a formality that Pakistan would knock over the Ireland lower order for the win by Kevin O'Brien and Stuart Thompson came together for a gritty 114 run seventh wicket stand.

In the over after Joyce departed, Andrew Balbirnie suffered a pair, again falling lbw to Abbas.

O'Brien and Thompson then began to drain the urgency from the fielding side, or maybe the visitors just fancied enjoying the local hospitality for another night, because taking the second new ball with only one or two slips in place and very little aggression all but ensured a fifth day - and what a thriller it could be.

This was O'Brien's first hundred for his country since that balmy night seven years ago, in which Ireland hunted down a massive target of 328, having at one stage slumped to 111 for 5. Emotional - first Test and all that.

He did lose Thompson, bowled between bat and pad by a huge leg spinner from Shadab Khan, but Kane, three years after his previous Ireland game, was nerveless as he let O'Brien dominate the scoring and inch closer to the historic landmark.

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