Ireland hit for six by Pakistan
IRELAND'S first campaign at the annual Hong Kong Sixes was ended at the quarter-final stage yesterday by eventual winners Pakistan.
But not before the Blarney Army had recorded another stunning victory over England to raise Irish cricket's reputation another notch.
Niall O'Brien smashed 35 from only eight balls as Ireland raced to 88-3 from five overs against a strong England side on Saturday, then tight overs from George Dockrell, Paul Stirling and Alex Cusack delivered a six-run win in the final group game.
Stirling led the charge in the quarter-final with 33 from eight balls but the experience of a Pakistan side containing three Test players restricted Ireland to 86-2 -- a total that was passed with two balls and two wickets to spare.
Pakistan went on to make an extraordinary 154-5 to beat England by 35 runs in the final.
Big-hitting Kevin O'Brien was expected to be the squad's trump card but it was his brother Niall who was Ireland's player of the tournament, remaining unbeaten in his four innings against Bangladesh, Australia, England and Pakistan.
The older O'Brien also notched Ireland's biggest tally of sixes, 13, five more than Stirling, while his brother Kevin recorded three maximums.