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Ireland Can Dream of Remarkable Debut Test Win Against Pakistan

15 May 2018

He had come to the middle 40 minutes before lunch when Ireland still needed 85 runs just to make Pakistan bat again.

That it hasn't happened is nearly single-handedly thanks to O'Brien, who first became the first man to register a 50 for Ireland - with pleasing symmetry it took him 100 balls, exactly twice as many as his extraordinary 2011 century.

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. It was a worrying sign for Pakistan, who next play a warm-up match against Leicestershire (May 19-20) before facing England in a two-Test series, with back-to-back fixtures at Lord's (May 24-28) and Headingley (June 1-5).

He finished the day undefeated on 118, having spent more than five and a half hours at the crease, about as different an innings as possible to the one in Bangalore all those years ago but just as momentously unbelievable.

But as well as his own composed strokeplay, O'Brien had support from Stuart Thompson in a seventh-wicket stand of 114.

Ireland it should be remembered started the day still 116 runs behind Pakistan's first innings score, defeat by an innings was still very much on the cards - and looked increasingly likely when the well set Ed Joyce managed to needlessly run himself out.

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He said misunderstandings are removed in the light of the facts. "A decision should be made about who is a patriot and who is a traitor", he added.

"To get there is a great honour and hopefully now we've put ourselves in a good position to try and go ahead and win it and there's no reason why we can't", he said at the close. 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 was even worse for Ireland four balls later when Andrew Balbirnie was leg before wicket to Mohammad Abbas for the second time in the match without scoring - the 44th player to get a pair on his Test match debut. The first day was washed out.

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.

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.

Milestones continued to be reached - first a collective 250, then Thompson's half-century and the three-figure partnership, which were both brought up by with a controlled pull to the fence.

Ireland Can Dream of Remarkable Debut Test Win Against Pakistan