Cricket Match Predictions: Kevin O'Brien's sucker punch to England at 2011 World Cup
In our new feature series - Who would have predicted that? – we are looking back at matches where there were big upsets or extraordinary individual performances that turned matches on their head.
In the 15th Match of the ICC World Cup 2011 played between England and Ireland at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in India's Bengaluru, many thought they knew the victors even before the first ball of the match was bowled.
It was Paul Stirling though who was open with his belief, as he talked about giving England a run for their money before the match began. As it turned out, Ireland did more than just giving England that; they created history.
England 327/8(50 Overs) - Ian Bell81 (86), Jonathan Trott92 (92); Trent Johnston2/58 (10); John Mooney4/63 (9)
Ireland 329/7(49.1 Overs) - Kevin O'Brien113 (63), Alex Cusack47 (58); James Anderson1/49 (8.1), Graeme Swann3/47 (10)
Result - Ireland won by 3 wickets
Batting first on a plat pitch in Bengaluru, each of England's top four did their job, or did they? Andrew Strauss scored 34 off 37 balls at a strike rate of 91.89, Kevin Pietersen scored 59 off 50 at a strike rate of 118.00, Jonathan Trott, their top scorer, scored 92 off 92 at a strike rate of 100.00 and Ian Bell scored 81 off 86 at a strike rate of 94.19.
While their contributions were good enough in taking England to 327-8, a seeming safe score, not one of them batted at a strike rate of over 120 when the platform was set and the bowling was not exactly world-class.
Fall of Wickets: 91-1 (A Strauss, 13.3), 111-2 (Pietersen, 16.6), 278-3 (Bell, 42.6), 288-4 (Trott, 44.3), 299-5 (Prior, 45.6), 312-6 (P Collingwood, 46.6), 317-7 (M Yardy, 48.3), 327-8 (Bresnan, 49.6)
Not to fault England too much, they would have hardly expected a chasing masterclass from Kevin O'Brien, as Strauss conceded in the post-match presentation. Coming out to bat at six, with the team reeling at 111-5, Kevin O Brien took guard, and then he swung; swung it out of the park.
His 113 off just 63 deliveries, laced with 13 fours and 6 sixes came at a strike rate of 179.37 before he was run out. O'Brien and John Cusack put on a sensational stand of 162 at nearly 10 an over that caught England completely off guard. The batter's knock was the fastest century in World Cup history at that time as Ireland chased down the mammoth total - the biggest WC chase till then - with five balls to spare.
Fall of Wickets: 0-1 (Porterfield, 0.1), 62-2 (Stirling, 9.5), 103-3 (Niall O Brien, 20.2), 106-4 (Ed Joyce, 22.2), 111-5 (Wilson, 24.2), 273-6 (Cusack, 41.3), 317-7 (Kevin O Brien, 48.1)
England - Sir Andrew Strauss (c), Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Matt Prior (wk), Michael Yardy, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Ireland - William Porterfield (c), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O Brien (wk), Alex Cusack, Kevin O Brien, Gary Wilson, John Mooney, Trent Johnston, George Dockrell, Boyd Rankin
Match: England vs Ireland, 15th Match, Group B, ICC World Cup 2011
Date: Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Toss: England won the toss and opt to bowl
Venue: M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
Umpires: Aleem Dar, Billy Bowden
Third Umpire: Marais Erasmus
Match Referee: Roshan Mahanama
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