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Thursday, March 3, 2011

the rise of Kevin O Brien and that of Ireland - England defeated

He is only behind Shahid Afridi,  Boucher, Lara and Jayasuriya in that order – the list of fastest centuries in one dayers.  The latest entrant is Kevin Joseph O’Brien of Ireland who ensured another sleepless night for England with whom they share a long history of bitter battles and colonization.  Do you what the result was in the WC when Ireland played Zimbabwe in the group match ?

Bangalore would be nightmarish for the English men – not that they are enjoying this WC – they have made runs and have given more.  In the three matches they have given 292 to Netherlands, scored and gave 338 to India and yesterday ended up giving 329 to Ireland.  

When they played well and set a target of 328, things were not rosy for Ireland.  Paul striling and William Porterfield opened and James Anderson who is having a forgettable time as a bowler ran in. The odds were stacked heavily against Ireland.  It was a fuller length one pitched wide outside off and Porterfield contrived  to drag it to the middle – one down at the first ball.  They continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and at 24 – they were 111/4 requiring massive 217 off 26 @ 8.34.  Kevin Brien had just come in and saw GC Wilson getting out to Swann. This time the 2.5 metre rule was not in play and out on replay.

They say that one need to believe and back up themselves  for winning – Ireland did though people would only have laughed at the situation.  At the end of 30 – they were still tottering at 166/5 and close to the same runs required of 20 – Cusack was trying to dig in, while Brien was hitting all over the park – a little cameo sparkling briefly one thought.

What a match that ended to be for those who did not hit the bed and ventured to see the match in its entirety, hoping for the improbable to happen.  Bangalore, where English chased a massive total against Indians so recently and tied saw another high scoring thriller in the 15th match of the WC.  Before you read on what happened, there were twists at Cusack sacrificed his wicket in the end overs and O Brien was also run out in the penultimate over.

Mooney started badly with a worse reputation – had two streaky shots for fours on the last ball of the overs but ended with two more great shots.  Trent Johnson who had just arrived drove the first ball he faced, a full toss from Stuart Broad beating the sweeper cover as the equation came down.  Mooney clipped Anderson through midwicket to conclude a fitting win and the start of celebrations.

In my last post, I had written that  nothing is a safe score now a days – 676 runs – 18 wickets – a great tie  was that match; today 328 proved achievable by a lesser team. Ireland prevailed to beat England by 3 wickets with 5 balls remaining. It was a great innings of character unleashed by Kevin O Brien  entering at 106/4 and ensuring their victory with the fastest century in WC and the 6th fastest one over all.    His hundred came off a mere 50 and statistically he made 113 off 63 having spent 123 minutes at the crease with 13 boundaries and six over it.

In the last WC they beat Pakistan and then Bangladesh in the next round.  Yesterday was this victory.  Indians now play them on 6th – whether they have served a strong notice remains to be seen !

Geographically, Ireland is the third largest island in Europe and 20th largest in the World.  It lies in Continental Europe and has a population of approx 6.2 m.  Irish Cricket Union was not part of ICC till 1993 and qualified for the last WC 2007.  UK is the sovereign state comprising of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.   English colonized Ireland in 12th century and Ireland feels oppressed by the army and military resources of Britain.  There is some acrimony and animosity still running….

The  group D match between Ireland & Zimbabwe, played at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica ended in a tie.

Regards – Sampathkumar S

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