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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Kevin O'Brien fashions Ireland upset of England

Kevin O'Brien fashions Ireland upset of England

Last updated on: March 02, 2011 23:10 IST

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Kevin O'Brien smashed the fastest ever World Cup century to propel Ireland to a stunning three-wicket win over England in a Group B match in Bangalore on Wednesday.

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An astonishing knock by O'Brien, who clobbered 13 fours and six sixes to reach three figures in only 50 balls, helped the Irish to live up to their reputation as giant-killers, as they overhauled England's total of 327-8 with five balls to spare.

It was the highest successful run chase in the tournament.

Kevin O'BrienFour years after beating Pakistan in the group stage in the Caribbean, the Irish repeated the feat to dent England's hopes of progressing into the knock-out stages of the 2011 tournament.

"When you are 111-5, I just said to myself, we could just potter around and get 220 off 50 overs for eight or nine and the game would have been pretty boring to watch and it wouldn't have been anything to watch on TV," a grinning O'Brien said, clutching his man of the match trophy.

"I just chanced my arm and said I'm going to be as positive as I can and I got a few away and didn't look back really."

The 26-year-old O'Brien dismantled the English bowling to score 113 runs in 63 balls and his knock helped produce the first upset in this year's showpiece.

He was run-out -- the only way he could fall -- with 11 runs still required off as many balls.

However, John Mooney (33 off 30 balls) kept his head and with three required to win off the last over, smashed a boundary to spark off the Irish celebrations.

Ireland's victory also throws Group B, which includes India, West Indies and South Africa, wide open.

O'Brien came to the crease with almost half his side back in the pavilion with Ireland struggling on 106-4 in the 23rd over.

He then turned on a breath-taking show of power hitting while the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium roared him on.

Inspired by O'Brien, Alex Cusak smashed 47 runs as they put on 162 runs for the sixth wicket before he was run-out, Ireland still requiring 55 runs to win.

However, O'Brien soldiered on and no amount of bowling changes or field placings could stop him and England came loose at the seams with misfields and dropped catches aiding Ireland's chase.

Earlier, Jonathan Trott blasted a brilliant run-a-ball 92 as England posted a mammoth 327.

South Africa-born Trott equalled the record for the fastest 1,000 one-day international runs en route to his 92-run innings.

The 29-year-old, who made his ODI debut against Ireland in August 2009, added 167 runs off 156 balls for the fourth-wicket along with Ian Bell (81) to lay the foundation for the huge total.

Coming in to bat at 91-1, Trott needed 64 runs to equal the fastest 1,000 ODI runs' feat of teammate Kevin Pietersen and West Indies legend Viv Richards. In the end he achieved it easily.

Andrew Strauss (34) and Kevin Pietersen (59) had given England a blistering start as they put the Irish bowlers to the sword, piling up 91 runs in 13.3 overs.

Pietersen started the proceedings for England, sending Boyd Rankin across the midwicket boundary. He meted the same treatment to the bowler off consecutive deliveries in his next over.

Stauss, who blasted 158 against India in the last match, soon got into the act and smashed a four off Johnston before sending Rankin for the first six of the day over the fine-leg boundary.

Jonathan TrottThe duo kept dealing in boundaries and brought up the team fifty in 47 balls.

George Dockrell (1/68) finally broke the partnership, getting rid of Strauss for 34 on his 34th birthday. Trying to work the ball on the leg side, Strauss ended up losing his wicket, bowled by the left-arm spinner in the 14th over.

Pietersen, who reached his fifty in the 12th over, also didn't stay long. Playing well till now, Pietersen threw his wicket away trying to play a reverse-dab, which culminated into an easy catch behind the stumps for Naill O'Brien as Paul Stirling picked his first wicket in the 17th over.

Trott and Bell then joined hands and the duo mixed caution with aggression to keep the scoreboard ticking.

England took their batting powerplay after the 38th over with Trott and Bell in full flow and the duo didn't disappoint as they compiled 45 runs off the five overs to boost the total.

But Mooney dismissed Bell with the last ball of the 43rd over, Stirling taking a low, diving catch at short midwicket, before cleaning up Trott in the 45th over to restrict England to 327 for eight.

- Photograph: Getty Images

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