Mar 3, 2011

Ireland Vs England : Expert Analysis – ICC World Cup 2011

After eliminating Pakistan from the ICC World Cup 2007 in the West Indies and becoming one of the reasons behind Pakistani coach Bob Woolmer's departure from this world, the Irish cricket team rose to the occasion once again and hammered England in a group ‘B’ match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. The English team's wounds might not be able to match those of Pakistan’s but Andrew Strauss and company will be shattered to say the least.

Ireland vs England
Apart from one of the biggest upsets of the game, the match between England and Ireland will be remembered as one of the best spectacles of One Day International (ODI) cricket. It was a record breaking encounter in more ways than one.

England posted a mammoth total of 327 runs in the first innings and most cricket analysts were predicting that the English team will run away with the match, especially when the Irish lost five of their top batsmen for just 111 runs on the board. A nelson usually works for the bowling team but just like so many extra-ordinary things in today’s match, the nelson changed the fortunes for Ireland batting this time.

Kevin O’Brien and Alex Cusack combined for the sixth wicket partnership and scored 162 runs which laid the foundation for a historic win. The match went down to the last over of the innings but the Irish were in the driving seat in the last 10 overs of the match.

Apart from some cricket fanatics around the world, a majority of cricket lovers may not have heard much about Kevin O’Brien but from now onwards his name will always be remembered in the history books for anchoring one of the most proud triumphs for Ireland. He scored a magical hundred to steer his team towards an unlikely victory and captured a record breaking victory for his country. He also broke the record for scoring the fastest century in the history of world cup cricket.

No team has ever chased down such a total in a world cup match before, even though the English team came very close of doing so against India a couple of days ago. So in many ways, this day was nothing less than a dream for Ireland and will be remembered for many more years to come. No wonder the Irish fans had tears in their eyes after the match.

Even though the English team dropped a couple of sitters, no one can take the credit away from O’Brien, who stunned spectators with some marvelous hitting. Not surprisingly, the centurion was named Man of the Match for his ‘once in a lifetime knock’. O’Brien admitted, during the presentation ceremony, that he himself could not believe all this has happened and said that this is the best innings he has ever played.

"Not able to believe it, I am quite speechless. I got a bit of luck and things went my way. If we would have gotten out soon, it would have been a boring game for the supporters and so I decided to chance my arm, it paid off," the star said while expressing his emotions.

The win once again will highlight the role of minnows in the tournament. The ICC is probably watching with great interest the outcome of this year’s tournament. Time will tell if O'Brien is able to lead his side to another victory on a World Cup stage.

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