Gloucestershire News

Flashback – Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien shocks England

Ireland cricketers William Porterfield and Andrew McBrine (C) run towards teammate Kevin O'Brien celebrating after the wicket of unseen Zimbabwe batsman Hamilton Masakadza at the Bellerive Oval ground during the 2015 Cricket World Cup Pool B match between Ireland and Zimbabwe in Hobart on March 7, 2015.  AFP PHOTO / INDRANIL MUKHERJEE  -- IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE--        (Photo credit should read INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

History will be made on Friday 5 May when England take on Ireland at The Brightside Ground, Bristol. It will be the first time England have played Ireland on home soil and with tickets just £30 for adults, it will a Friday to remember!

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With England heavy favorites on paper, we look back to the 2011 World Cup clash between the two countries.

March 2nd 2011 is a date that will live in Irish sporting folklore, as Kevin O’Brien put cricket on the front pages in the emerald isle with a stunning win over England. His century from 50 balls in Bangalore was the fastest-ever in World Cup history.

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England were carrying all the momentum after an exciting tied match with India as Tendulkar and Strauss traded tons to share the points in Bangalore. Ireland had handed Pakistan a shock defeat in the 2007 World Cup and progressed to the Super 8 Stage in their debut appearance.

In 2011, they held great hopes for the event but were disappointed to lose their opening game despite being on top for much of the game against co-hosts Bangladesh.

The English Batsmen were on a roll, and despite a slowdown in the death, it posted a formidable 327 for 8 in Bangalore that to Trott & Bell’s 177 run partnership leading the way. Few expected the Associate Member to cause an upset against their neighbours England, and Ireland looked to be staring down the barrel of a defeat especially when they lost half-way their wickets for just more than a hundred runs.


Kevin O’Brien with his hair dyed pink in aid of a charity – came in with Ireland floundering at 106 for 4, things only looking worse soon after at 111 for 5 in the 25th over when Gary Wilson fell LBW to Graeme Swann. But this was the man who had played his first ODI match against England in 2006, and taken the wicket of Andrew Strauss, the captain then, off his first-ever ball. It was obvious he had a liking for playing against the English and with his side

The boundaries rained down at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, starting from the second ball he faced. Standing by him was Alex Cusack, with whom O’Brien would share a 162-run partnership. Cusack would contribute a vital 47 and played the perfect foil to O’Brien and his fireworks.

The inspired Power Play that Ireland took at the start of the 32nd over added an invaluable 62, including one massive six over midwicket, and changed the nature of the game. O’Brien’s first fifty took 30 balls, his second only 20, having survived a dropped catch on 91. He then moved to 98 and within a shot of the fastest World Cup hundred, with a punch to the leg-side he quickly called ‘two’ to his partner

When he was run out in the penultimate over of the match, O’Brien had scored 113 in 63 deliveries, including 13 fours and six sixes. It was a innings of phenomenal power but also great composure as he timed the chase perfectly to leave Ireland on the brink of victory.

This is it, this is it, this is it!! Take a bow Ireland, what a game of cricket. England cannot believe, I can’t believe it, Hussain can’t believe it! Terrific Ireland, look at these scenes!
David Lloyd on Commentary calls the winning runs

What happened next: 

When O’Brien got out, Ireland needed 11 runs from 11 balls. The formalities were completed with three wickets and five balls to spare for the highest successful run chase in the tournament to spark scenes of wild jubilation in the Irish camp. O’Brien was of course named the Man of the Match and the name Kevin O’Brien was all of a sudden a household name across India.