Kevin O'Brien scores first Test ton for Ireland

May 15, 2018, 08:26 IST | AFP

At the time of going to press, Ireland, made to follow-on, were 303 for seven

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien reacts as he leaves the pitch at the end of play on day four of Ireland's inaugural test match against Pakistan at Malahide cricket club, in Dublin. Pic/AFP
Ireland's Kevin O'Brien reacts as he leaves the pitch at the end of play on day four of Ireland's inaugural test match against Pakistan at Malahide cricket club, in Dublin. Pic/AFP

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. A two off left-arm quick Mohammad Amir saw O'Brien to his hundred in 186 balls, including 10 fours -- a shot greeted with cheers from a crowd of several hundred.

It was the 34-year-old O'Brien's first century for Ireland since he made the fastest-ever World Cup hundred by any batsman, off 50 balls, against England at Bangalore in 2011. Ireland, made to follow-on, were in danger of a heavy defeat when O'Brien, who top-scored with 40 in their first-innings 130, walked in at 95 for four on Monday.

But he retained his composure to complete a fifty off 100 balls -- the exact reverse of the figures in his record-breaking feat in India seven years ago. O'Brien, whose older brother Niall is Ireland's wicket-keeper, received excellent support from all-rounder Stuart Thompson -- the second Ireland batsman to make a Test fifty -- in a seventh-wicket stand of 114 that denied Pakistan an innings win in this one-off match.

When Thompson was bowled by leg-spinner Shadab Khan for 53, Ireland were 271 for seven. Tyrone Kane extended Ireland's lead to three figures and gave them a chance, admittedly an outside one, of becoming just the fourth side in the 141 years of Test history to win a match after following-on.

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