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Cricket World Cup: Kevin O'Brien hails 'best innings'

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien relishes record ton (UK users only)

Ireland batsman Kevin O'Brien said his record-breaking century in the dramatic World Cup win over England was the best innings he had ever played.

O'Brien reached his 100 off 50 balls, the fastest century in World Cup history, and ended on 113 as Ireland beat England by three wickets.

"I chanced my arm, attacked and batted as positively as I could and thankfully it came off," said O'Brien.

"I kept going and everything went my way, with the odd bit of luck too."

Batting first, England scored 327-8 but Ireland replied with 329-7 with five balls to spare.

O'Brien said the magnitude of his side's achievement had "not sunk in yet" but added that the victory had been a "real team effort".

"Our bowlers restricted them to a target that we felt we could chase," he added.

It was amazing to see the English bowlers go around - he took them apart. It is such a great day for Irish cricket

Ger O'Brien

"It's a great wicket, a high-scoring ground and we managed to take advantage of it."

Ireland captain William Porterfield hailed the success as "the greatest day in Irish cricket history and one of our best-ever performances".

"We believed in ourselves and even at 111-5 we managed to bounce back - so all credit to the lads," said the skipper.

"We knew what Kevin O'Brien was capable of and now we are still in the tournament and have a great chance to qualify for the next stage.

"There'll be a big party after this but we still have four games to go and have to produce more big displays."

O'Brien, who had a spell with English county Nottinghamshire in 2009 on a one-day contract, plays his club cricket with Irish side Railway Union Cricket Club.

The 26-year-old, who still lives at home, has a degree in marketing and advertising and is one of five O'Brien brothers to play cricket.

His brother Niall kept wicket for Ireland during the England match and his cricketer father Brendan made over 50 appearances for his country.

Ireland captain William Porterfield

Captain revels in Ireland's 'biggest win' (UK users only)

Ger O'Brien, who is president of Kevin's club in Ireland, said he was not surprised to see his brother take England's attack apart.

"Over the last six or eight months his batting has really flourished and he was destined to have a big knock," he said.

"I am so proud. I followed some of it on the web and then I got out to see the climax of the game.

"When he got to 80 I knew he had a chance and he did nearly all of it in boundaries, which was amazing.

"It was amazing to see the English bowlers go around. He took them apart, even Graeme Swann, who is the number one spin bowler in the world.

"It is such a great day for Irish cricket. Some bookmakers had Ireland at 400-1 at one stage. I wish I'd not kept my money in my pocket."

Some bookmakers have started offering odds on O'Brien, who is contracted to Cricket Ireland, playing for England in the next Ashes series.

Ger O'Brien does not think that will happen but he does expect him to be back in the county game this summer.

"He's a whacking player, he doesn't do four or five-day games," he said. "His contract with Notts was a one-day and Twenty20 one.

"He did play some county seconds and he is only 26 - 27 on Friday - and is at the right age for a batsman so I'm sure there will be some interest."

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Kevin O'Brien's innings (courtesy Opta Sport)
Kevin O'Brien's innings (courtesy Opta Sport)

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see also
Brilliant Ireland shock England
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Strauss stunned by England defeat
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England v Ireland photos
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Short, back and wides for Ireland
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Dockrell considers England move
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England & India in thrilling tie
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Andrew White column
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Porterfield laments Irish batting
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Hosts Bangladesh edge past Irish
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Joyce ready for his Irish rebirth
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Cricket World Cup 2011
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