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O'Brien: Pakistan draw 'feels like a loss'

KEVIN O'Brien described Ireland's tie with Pakistan in the first one-day international as "feeling like a loss" after he almost guided his side to an historic success.

O'Brien swept the final ball from Saeed Ajmal for four to level the scores and leave the hosts agonisingly short of a first-ever Dublin win against a Test-playing nation.

"We're not here to tie the game, we're here to win it so that's why it feels a little bit like a loss," O'Brien said after plundering an unbeaten 84 from 47 balls.

"To come so close and not get over the line is going to be tough to take initially. But when we reflect on the game and think about it, it will probably become a little easier."

Memories of Ireland's first-ever major success, against Pakistan on St Patrick's Day at the 2007 World Cup, were revived as they made an unlikely pursuit of 276 in a match reduced to 47 overs by rain.

Opener Paul Stirling's second century in as many games against Pakistan set the platform before O'Brien took centre stage in a typically belligerent knock.

The all-rounder took a particularly liking to the world's top-ranked ODI bowler Ajmal, who had the rarest of off days as he conceded 71 from his 10 overs without a wicket.

Needing 15 from his final over O'Brien launched Ajmal for six over long-on from the third ball.

Another maximum from the final delivery would have won the game and with Trent Johnston, who hit the winning runs against Pakistan in Jamaica six years ago, at the other end O'Brien admitted a sense of déjà vu.

"TJ mentioned that before the last ball," O'Brien said. "We came up to me and said: 'How about you hit the winning runs this time?'

"Unfortunately it was one run less but it's nice to get so close. We actually missed two full tosses in that last over. On another day they could have gone out of the ground and we could have won."


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