Kevin O' Brien's 116 off 63 - World Cup Gold - Opinion

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Kevin O' Brien's 116 off 63 - World Cup Gold - Opinion
Since the inaugural edition of the Cricket World Cup in the form of the Prudential Cup in 1975, cricket fans throughout the world have benefitted from watching some of the best innings by an array of top quality players who embraced the field in various
countries. One can think of the brutality of Sir Vivian Richards, the all round genius of These legendary batsmen had managed to play some memorable innings which had
guided their sides to amazing victories in the various editions of the tournament.
Yet for a team which seldom gets the chance to be adequately represented in the World Cup, one man had managed to make history and put his side on the map. It wasn’t a World Cup hundred in an all important final, semi final or even a quarter final for that
matter. It was a Group stage game, where just two solitary points were at stake. Yet given the situation, the pressure and the monumental task at hand, this innings would have to go down as the finest ODI innings played in World Cup history.
The artist was Kevin O’ Brien, a bulky, stocky and powerful all rounder from Dublin in Ireland. He was known to be a ferocious striker of the cricket ball as well as a useful seam bowler. He was a member of the successful Irish cricket team which managed
to defeat in the 2007 edition of the tournament. Yet with his side in a quagmire against their neighbors England, he found himself in one of the most difficult situations of his entire career.
Chasing 328 for victory under lights at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, the Irish were up against it at 5 for 111 in the 25th over. Mutterings of their minnow status kept going unabated and just when it seemed that had well and truly
cemented their place in the knock out stage of the tournament by strangling their minnow neighbors, the penny dropped.
Canny wrist work, powerful bashing and massive sixes greeted the English bowlers after the fifth wicket fell, as Kevin O’ Brien went on an ambitious mission to guide his side home. At first his onslaught looked as if it would eventually lead to his demise
and subsequently, the demise of his team as well. Critics dismissed his initial forty runs as immaterial to the inevitable outcome of the game, yet they were silenced shortly after. In came a massive six off
and a magnificent strike into the crowd off The commentators were baffled with their jaws wide open as O’ Brien kept on peppering the English bowlers around the park. It wasn’t simple bashing either. It was more of a display of proper cricket
shots which went aerial and cleared the boundaries with ease.
With his side perched 6 for 273, the unthinkable became a possibility. Ireland were about to overhaul England for the very first time in their history. Then came the flick to mid wicket, a call for two runs and history was made. Kevin O’ Brien just secured
the fastest hundred in World Cup history. His 113 runs in just 63 deliveries with six massive sixes, stands unparalleled today. That innings helped chase the score with five deliveries to spare which set down scenes of joy in Bangalore, Dublin and
anywhere in the world where sympathy was directed at the minnows and their significant achievements.
That innings had a distinct aura to it, which not many people could have perceived at that period in time. Ireland was knocked out of the tournament eventually but their feat along with Kevin O’ Brien’s magnificent century was secured in cricketing folklore. 
Disclaimer: Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not represent's official editorial policy.



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