Wednesday 8 May 2013 

O'Brien, Misbah Look Ahead To Ireland-Pakistan ODIs

O'Brien, Misbah Look Ahead To Ireland-Pakistan ODIs
O'Brien, Misbah Look Ahead To Ireland-Pakistan ODIs
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

Having played in the famous 2007 victory over the same opponents, Ireland all-rounder Kevin O'Brien is looking forward to his side's two One-Day Internationals against Pakistan later this month.

O'Brien, who has now played for Ireland 190 times, was making just his 15th match when, under Trent Johnston's captaincy, they sent shockwaves around the world with one of the World Cup's biggest upsets.

He scored 16 not out on that day to steer Ireland to a three-wicket win and was at it again four years later when his 50-ball hundred sparked a similarly brilliant win over England.

Fresh from scoring a match-winning unbeaten century for Leinster Lightning, O'Brien is now setting his sights on the two ODIs against Pakistan, which will be played at Clontarf on 23rd and 26th May.

"It's incredible to think it's six years ago. Irish cricket changed forever that day and we've never looked back. It was obviously a great day for the O'Brien family with Niall getting the Man of the Match, and me being there at the end - I don't think I've ever made a more important 16 not out," he said of the 2007 win.

"They are one of the favourites for the Champions Trophy and it's easy to see why. They've got world class players throughout their team and in Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan have two of the best bowlers currently in world cricket.  They've got a huge amount of experience in their batting and it'll be a tough examination for us.

"The game is on course for a sell out which is fantastic news. The Irish and Pakistan fans will create a carnival atmosphere and Clontarf is a magnificent setting. We're overdue for a big win there and hopefully we can give the Irish fans something to cheer about."

Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq added: "We're very much looking forward to returning to Ireland for two highly competitive matches in two weeks time. We are lucky that Pakistan have a very strong following away from home and we’re hoping for a real carnival atmosphere in Dublin with the local Irish and Pakistani communities coming to support in great numbers to make for two great days out on May 23rd and 26th.

"I have great memories from the matches in Belfast two years ago where we enjoyed a fantastic welcome and we were happy to win both matches despite Paul Stirling making a century for Ireland. We know that Ireland have many great players and we will not be underestimating them on their home soil in Dublin."

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