Wednesday 2 March 2011 

O'Brien Century Smashes Ireland To Incredible Victory

O'Brien Century Smashes Ireland To Incredible Victory
O'Brien Century Smashes Ireland To Incredible Victory
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Ireland 329-7 (K O'Brien 113) beat
England 327-8 (Trott 92, Bell 81) by 3 wickets
ICC Cricket World Cup Group B, Bangalore

Video Update: O'Brien Sinks England
Podcast: Cricket World® At The World Cup
Audio: Strauss | Porterfield | O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien thumped an incredible 50-ball century - the quickest in World Cup history - as Ireland beat England by three wickets in their Cricket World Cup Group B match in Bangalore.

O'Brien hammered 113 in 63 balls as the so-called minnows recovered from a mid-innings slump to chase down a World Cup record target of 328 with five balls to spare.

England batsman Jonathan Trott equalled a world record held by Sir Viv Richards and Kevin Pietersen to help his side post 327 for eight but for the second game in a row following their tie with India, England were unable to convert a seemingly dominant position into a winning one.

Trott, who made 92 in 92 balls, reached his 1000th One-Day International run in just his 21st innings while Ian Bell and Pietersen also scored half-centuries to steer England to an imposing score.

They then reduced Ireland to 111 for five in the 25th over before a century stand between O'Brien, who helped himself to 13 fours and six sixes, and Alex Cusack, who made 47, got Ireland into a position from which they launched a winning charge.

Despite O'Brien's late run out, Ireland held their nerve thanks to an unbeaten 33 in 30 balls from John Mooney and Trent Johnston played his part, making seven in four balls to pull off an historic win.

They had made the worst possible start when captain and opener William Porterfield was bowled by James Anderson with the first ball of the innings, and when Paul Stirling and Ed Joyce both fell for 32, England were in a strong position - although they were again poor in the field, five catches going down during the innings.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann (3-47) did the bulk of England's wicket-taking, removing Joyce, Niall O'Brien (29) and Gary Wilson (3) .

However, despite his brilliance with the ball, and key run outs of O'Brien and Cusack, Ireland were not going to give in and pulled off the first upset of the tournament.

Earlier, England were given a fast start by Strauss, who made 34 in 37 balls and Pietersen, who registered his first score of 50 or more while opening the batting by making 59 in 50 balls, playing some exquisite shots with seven fours and two sixes. Strauss fell when he was bowled attempting to push a straight George Dockrell delivery round the corner and Pietersen was caught as he tried to reverse sweep Stirling.

Warwickshire pair Trott and Bell (81 in 86 balls) then put on 167 for the third wicket before a clatter of wickets prevented England pushing on and hitting a score nearer 350.

Mooney returned figures of four for 63 as he dismissed Trott, Bell, Paul Collingwood (16) and Tim Bresnan (4) while Trent Johnston picked up his 50th ODI wicket with the dismissals of Matthew Prior for six and Michael Yardy for three.

© Cricket World 2011

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