Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

O'Brien hits historic first test century

O'Brien hits historic first test century

O'Brien went steadily through the 90s before a pushed two off Amir saw him to a 186-ball hundred including 10 fours, the batsman punching the air in celebration.

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.

Nearly five hours later, when he reached three figures, O'Brien - at 34 the third oldest of the 105 players to score a century on Test debut - had faced 186 balls and hit 10 boundaries and Ireland were 116 runs in front.

After heavy rainfall resulted in the whole of Friday's first-day cricket being washed out, Ireland needed to be within 150 of Pakistan after yesterday.

O'Brien, the man for the big occasion, had just scored Ireland's first Test century in their debut Test, seven years after he scored the fastest World Cup hundred to help Ireland beat England at the 2011 tournament. He became the first Irishman to record a Test half-century.

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It was Pakistan that batted first and their team was reduced early to 13/2 and then 159/6 as the Irish bowlers looked to make the most of the conditions.

"It's a very proud and emotional moment", said O'Brien.

Kevin etched his name into the history books with an unbeaten 118 to guide the hosts to 319/7 on the fourth day of the Dublin Test.

Ireland resumed the penultimate day still 116 behind Pakistan's first-innings total, but they lost Ed Joyce with just five more on the board when he was run out on 43 by Faheem Ashraf's direct-hit.

Both Niall O'Brien and William Porterfield should have been run out before Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed finally turned to Amir.

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"It's a new-ball wicket", he added.

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

The left-arm paceman also removed Gary Wilson (12), caught by Haris Sohail in the slips, after lunch for the 100th wicket of a turbulent Test career that was interrupted by a jail sentence by an English court and a five-year ban by the ICC for his involvement in a spot-fixing scandal in 2010.

Thompson, so long the talented under-achiever, showed why the selectors have stuck with him as he went to a half-century with his sixth boundary, a fierce pull through mid-wicket, but fell for 53 when he was beaten on the back foot and bowled by a sharp leg-spinner.

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