Ireland riding on a heroic century from Kevin O’Brien pulled off a shock win over England in yesterday’s Group B Match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Kevin O’Brien smashed a breathtaking 113 from just 63 balls (with 13 fours and 6 sixes) as Ireland chased down a target of 328 with five balls to spare.
It was one of the best knocks ever in ODI Cricket coming from the 26-year-old Kevin O’Brien who came in at no.6 as he helped Ireland to win from a hopeless position of 111 for 5 in the 25th over! No.7 Alex Cussack with 47 from 58 balls (with 3 fours and a six) and no.8 John Mooney with an unbeaten 33 from 30 balls (with 6 fours) played crucial supporting roles to Kevin O’Brien. Cussack’s stand for the 6th wicket with Man of the Match Kevin O’Brien was worth 162 runs in about 17 overs! Next man John Mooney put up a precious 44-run stand for the 7th wicket before Kevin O’Brien was run out with 12 to win from 12 balls.
Kevin O’Brien had smashed his century in 50 balls which became the new record for the fastest World Cup hundred. Ireland also went onto produce a new record of the highest ever successful chase in World Cup history. It was also their maiden ODI victory against England. Their previous biggest upset came in the 2007 World Cup when they defeated Pakistan which led to the Asian team’s shock exit from the tournament.
England’s best bowler of the evening was Graeme Swann who picked up 3 wickets for 49 but had finished his quota of 10 overs too early to make any comeback and get Kevin O’Brien out. Earlier in the afternoon, England having won the toss and electing to bat first were driven to a total of 327 for 8 thanks to a 167-run stand for the 3rd wicket between Jonathan Trott (92 from 92 balls with 9 fours) and Ian Bell (81 from 86 balls with 6 fours and a six). John Mooney who had scored the winning runs with the bat was the hero with the ball taking four wickets for Ireland with his medium pacers.