World Cup 2011 – England Taste Bitter Irish Coffee




Kevin O’Brien

Kevin O’Brien

Move over KP, it’s time for K‘o’B! The Bangalore crowds were treated to their second nerve wrecking contest in the week as Kevin O’Brien helped Ireland register the first upset of the tournament beating England and upsetting the calculations and permutations in Group B. O’ Brien scored 113 of only 63 balls, the fastest hundred in World Cup history, as Ireland chased down a mammoth 328 and scripted an emphatic victory, one that will be remembered for ages to come.

Andrew Strauss, hoping to continue his good form in the tournament, won the toss and elected to bat and he, along with Kevin Pietersen got England off to a flier. Strauss fell in the 14th over for 34 with the score on 91. Pietersen, who looked in great nick against India, got off to a good start but threw it away on 59 as his reverse sweep popped up giving Niall O’ Brien the simplest of catches. Trott and Bell put on a 167 run stand, the former equaling the record for the fastest to reach 1000 ODI runs in the process, as England looked all set to put the match out of Ireland’s reach. Bell fell for a well compiled 85 while Trott made 92. Some quick wickets in the last five overs meant England could only manage 327, a good 20 runs short of what they would have liked at the start of the 46th over.

Ireland got off to the worst possible start with Porterfield chopping the first ball of the innings back onto his stumps. Stirling started off aggressively while former English batsman Ed Joyce stood solid. After Stirling fell for a well made 32, Graeme Swann plunged into action picking up the wickets of Niall O’ Brien, Joyce and Wilson n quick succession to leave the Irishmen reeling at 111/5. The experienced Alex Cusack walked in to join Kevin O’Brien with Ireland requiring more than a miracle to win.

Kevin O’ Brien had the English fielders hiding for cover right from the word go! His two sixes of Swann’s ninth over was what injected some life in the Irish chase. They took the batting Powerplay in the 31st over and O’ Brien started it off in style taking 16 runs of Yardy. O’ Brien struck four fours and three sixes, including a 102 meter hit of Bresnan, in the next four overs as he raced away to 80 of 39 balls. But most importantly Ireland were back in the game and needed 99 from the last 14 overs.

Cusack, who had been playing second fiddle all this while, joined the party hitting Collingwood for a six and a four as they brought on the 150 run partnership. O’Brien reached his 100 in 50 balls, 16 balls lesser than the previous fastest World Cup hundred, as England felt the match slip out of their grasp. With 55 runs still to defend, they were handed a lifeline as a miscommunication ended Cusack’s supportive innings. But that brought in the experienced John Mooney. After initially struggling, Mooney began to find his feet and struck a couple of boundaries as the equation was now down to 12 of 12. A tiring O’Brien couldn’t beat Bresnan’s throw from midwicket as he was finally run out for 113. The new batsman Trent Johnston struck a boundary of his first ball to put the match firmly in Ireland’s grasp. Mooney’s flick to the boundary of the first ball of the last over sealed the win, the greatest in Ireland’s history, eclipsing even their victory over Pakistan in 2007.

Kevin O’ Brien, the mastermind of the epic chase, unsurprisingly picked up the Man of the Match as Ireland recorded their first points of the 2011 World Cup as England’s bowling woes continued. Ireland stay at Bangalore where they face India in their next encounter while England move to Chennai to meet South Africa to get their World Cup back on track.

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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