Kevin O'Brien is proud to smash Ireland's maiden Test ton


Sarfraz Ahmed became the first Pakistan captain to enforce the follow-on in a Test in 16 years when he sent Ireland back in again on Sunday, a move that may have seen the tourists victorious by now had Ireland openers Ed Joyce and William Porterfield not both been dropped in single figures off Mohammad Amir on the third day.

Kevin O'Brien, the younger brother, scored the fastest century in World Cup history in Ireland's incredible three-wicket victory over England in Bangalore four years later. "If I I can continue [tomorrow] for another hour and a half, to 170-odd, this could top it", he said.

Ireland therefore lead by 139 going into the final day, with a draw and even a victory still within their grasp after being applauded off the field by Pakistan at stumps following O'Brien's magnificent effort.

It was just after 6.15pm that Kevin O'Brien pushed a ball from Mohammad Amir through the covers for runs that made him a national cricketing hero, for the second time in his career.

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"To get there, it's a great honour".

Resuming their second innings on 0-64 after being asked to follow on and still needing 116 more runs to make Pakistan bat again, Ireland had slumped to 4-123 by lunch. Let's bask in and review Ireland's, and particularly O'Brien's, greatest day - I believe better than the World Cup win, because this was unknown territory for the Irish.

It wasn't for want of trying but insane running continued to be a feature of the first hour of the day with Niall fortunate that a throw missed the stumps as he dived in to avoid being the second player to get a pair.

The nagging line employed by Abbas helped him trap Paul Stirling (11) leg before just after lunch igniting hopes of Pakistan wrapping up the game inside four days.

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Test cricket is a amusing game and Ireland will start to think of forcing the issue as they are 139 runs ahead with three wickets in hand.

Stuart Thompson just about survived becoming victim number 101 but he, along with Kevin O'Brien, took 14 off two Amir overs to bring Ireland within touching distance of moving in front.

Kevin O'Brien is hoping his latest worldwide ton will lead to an Ireland victory - just as his century against England did at the World Cup seven years ago. Emotional - first Test and all that.

Pakistan took the new ball but it was leg-spinner Shadab Khan, not the pacemen, who struck next when he turned one sharply to bowl left-hander Thompson for 53.

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