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O'Brien is toast of Ireland

March 18, 2007
Debutants Ireland registered one of the biggest shocks in World Cup history, when they shocked Pakistan by three wickets to knock them out of the tournament, at Sabina Park, on Saturday.

Wicketkeeper Niall O'Brien starred with a fine knock of 72 to help Ireland secure one of their biggest wins and double their celebrations on St Patrick's Day, their patron saint.

O'Brien's 107-ball knock was inclusive of six boundaries and a six. It got Ireland within reach of victory, but his dismissal sparked a mini-collapse and a tense finish.

The 25-year-old went in to bat with Ireland at 15 for two in the sixth over, but he made sure that he held one end up. By the time he was dismissed Ireland were within 20 runs of a famous victory.

Earlier, Pakistan were earlier dismissed for just 132 in 45.4 overs as seamer Boyd Rankin claimed 3-32, including 13 wides. Pakistan's top scorer was 29 extras.

Ireland, requiring a revised target of 128 to win, won with a six over mid-wicket by captain Trent Johnston off Azhar Mahmood. There were 8.2 overs still remaining.

Niall comes from a sporting family. His brother Kevin was at the crease when the winning runs were hit.

His sister Ciara O'Brien plays for the Irish women's hockey team. Their father Brendan also played cricket for Ireland.

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