Historic maiden century from Kevin O’Brien has brought Ireland back in the game as the hosts finish day four leading by 139 runs against Pakistan at The Village, Malahide, Dublin.
Ireland were 64/0 at stumps on day three on follow-on after they were bowled out for 130 runs in the first innings in reply to Pakistan’s 310/9.
They start of day four wasn’t good for the Irish as they lost both openers – Ed Joyce and William Porterfield in the first session. Joyce missed out on scoring his country’s first fifty. He made 43 off 98 balls with 6 fours. Skipper Porterfield departed with 32.
Ireland went to lunch at 123/4 with Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien at the crease. Ireland were 157/6 then. O’Brien and Stuart Thompson lifted the hosts with their first-ever 100-run partnership.
O’Brien became the first Irish to score a Test fifty, in 100 balls. Thompson also achieved the milestone. The partnership of 114 runs was broken by Shadab Khan as his leg-spinner got Thompson bowled. The left-hander made 53 off 116 balls hitting 6 boundaries.
O’Brien was getting close to Ireland’s first Test ton, the fourth to do on country’s debut Test. He edged Mohammad Amir for a single to bring up the impenetrable feat of Ireland’s history. It took him 186 balls.
Tyrone Kane played the supportive role for the centurion for the rest of the day. He played 67 balls for his 8*. O’Brien stayed unbeaten for 118* runs from 216 deliveries including 12 fours.
Ireland finished the day with 319/7 in 122 overs, leading by 139 runs.
Ireland 130 & 319/7/9d in 122 overs (f/o) (K O’Brien 118*, Thompson 53; Amir 3/57, Abbas 2/54)
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com