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Cricket: Record Breakers

Kevin O’Brien records fastest century in World Cup history - 100 off 50 balls
Ireland complete fastest run chase to record stunning three-wicket victory

Gerard Hughes

Published 03/03/2011 | 05:00

Man of the Match Kevin O'Brien (left) celebrates with brother Niall after Ireland's victory over England in the 2011 ICC World Cup Group B clash in Bangalore yesterday. Photo: Getty Images
Man of the Match Kevin O'Brien (left) celebrates with brother Niall after Ireland's victory over England in the 2011 ICC World Cup Group B clash in Bangalore yesterday. Photo: Getty Images

Kevin O'Brien smashed the fastest century in World Cup history in Bangalore last night to fire Ireland towards a stunning three-wicket victory that left England in a purple haze.

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The Railway Union all-rounder cleared the ropes six times and also hit 13 fours as he screamed to three figures from 50 balls.

Ireland were 400/1 outsiders in the two-horse race when Alex Cusack joined O'Brien and set about the England bowlers in a partnership worth 162 from only 103 balls.

O'Brien was finally run out for 113 when only 11 runs were left to win, clearing the stage for another Dubliner John Mooney to complete the biggest World Cup run chase by any team from the first ball of the final over.

O'Brien, who has dyed his hair purple for the Irish Cancer Society's 'Shave or Dye' campaign, said: "I can't believe it, I am quite speechless.

"I got a bit of luck out there and things went my way. If Cussie and I had have gotten out soon, it would have been a boring game for the supporters, but I decided to chance my arm and it paid off."

After losing their first Group B match to Bangladesh, it looked as though Irish hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of cricket's showpiece event were as good as over when England racked up a massive 327-8 from their 50 overs.

Things got worse when skipper William Porterfield dragged the first ball of the reply into his stumps and when Ed Joyce fell for 32, there was no hint that such an enormous upset was in prospect.

Co-incidentally the three-wicket margin of victory was the same as when Ireland famously beat Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup -- and an O'Brien was also Man of the Match then -- Kevin's brother Niall.

Irish Independent

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