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Cricket World Cup Update : Ireland wins vs England

Ronak Vora
1.61K   //    03 Mar 2011, 12:01 IST

Match played at Bangalore on last Sunday between India and England ended in a tie and many people and expert felt that that was one of the best ODIs and was one of the best WC match. But today, just after 2 days the world saw even better match between England and Ireland in which non-test playing nation went on to beat the country where Cricket was invented.  Nobody was expecting such a big upset, especially after England set the target of 328 for the Irish. But Kevin O’Brein came like a cyclone for England and did the job for the minnows.

Winning the toss, England decided to bat first and started in a perfect manner. Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss continued their good form and added 91 for the 1st wicket’s partnership. Strauss got out while trying to play a shot wasn’t needed at that time. Soon after, Kevin Pietersen  got out after scoring a half century. Then Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell started building the partnership. They both added 167 together and both Trott and Bell failed to score century as they were dismissed for 92 and 81 respectively. Ireland bowled well in the depth and England managed to score 327 after it was looking at one time that England would go on to score 350. James Anderson did just what the doctor had ordered for England by taking a wicket of Porterfield on the first ball of the first over. In middle overs Swann joined the party and took 3 wickets. Ireland was at 111/5 at the half way mark. All the people must have thought that the match is over at that stage but 26 years old Kevin Joseph O’Brein had some other ideas in his mind. Ireland decided to take their batting powerplay in 32nd over and that decision worked in their favor as they scored 62 runs in those 5 overs without losing any wicket.  O’Brein completed his 50 of just 30 balls. At the other hand Cusack was playing a very sensible knock by keeping O’Brein at the striker’s end. O’Brein took on all the English bowlers and hit some towering sixes including 102 meters sixer, longest of this World Cup. He completed his century in just 50 balls and that century became the fastest century scored in the WC history and 6th fastest in ODI History. He broke the record of Matthew Hayden who had scored century of 66 bals in WC 2007 vs South Africa.  The best thing that he did was the way he played after scoring century. Just after he completed his 100, Cusack got run out because of a miscommunication between him and O’Brein. After that O’Brien played very sensibly. He was taking ones and twos and allowed John Mooney to be on strike and take some chances. That plan worked as Mooney scored 33 of30 balls. After scoring 100 of just 50 balls, O’Brien scored his next 13 runs in 13 balls before he went on for unnecessary 2nd run and got run out. But his dismissal didn’t affect Irish as Mooney and Trent Johnson held their nerves and Ireland won the historic contest with 5 balls to spare. It was the highest run chase of World Cup History.

Parents of O’Brien brothers must be the happiest parents in the world last night as their elder son Niall was man of the match vs Pakistan in 2007 WC and this time it was younger son Kevin who got the man of the match award for his blistering knock vs a much better side.  I am sure, after last night’s performance Ireland must be the 2nd favorite side of all the people after their respective country. They won billions of hearts last night after their superb victory over England last night.

They didn’t just win vs England last night, but they also won vs ICC as ICC has made the decision of keeping the number of teams 10 in the next World Cup. ICC has said that only top 10 teams will play the WC which means only those who are test playing nation. It was a ridiculous decision as I think these small teams should get a chance to play at the highest level vs the best teams in the world. Even Netherlands had proved ICC’s decision wrong after scoring 293 runs vs England at Nagpur. Though they lost the match, their performance was appreciated by everyone.  Cricket is not popular as Football. May be these teams will win only one out of their 6-7 matches but that one victory over a big team can help a lot to Cricket to spread its wings. I am sure ICC will have to reconsider their decision.

Ronak Vora
Love Cricket and Tennis. Did masters in Sports Management from IISWBM Kolkata.
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